Most of Malaysian Chinese victims in MH17 crash will be cremated in Netherlands

Men carry a coffin containing human remains collected over the last couple of days at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in Ukraine, upon its arrival at the Eindhoven Airport, the Netherlands on Aug 4, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP 
Men carry a coffin containing human remains collected over the last couple of days at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in Ukraine, upon its arrival at the Eindhoven Airport, the Netherlands on Aug 4, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP 

SEMENYIH (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Most of the 12 Malaysian Chinese victims on board the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 will be cremated in the Netherlands before their remains are returned to Malaysia.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said some of their families consented to this but he could not specify the exact number of families that had agreed to it.

"So far, two Malaysians have been identified in the ongoing post-mortem in the Netherlands, which is expected to be completed next week," he said after attending the Nirvana Memorial Garden's Enligh­tenment Ceremony on Sunday.

The annual ceremony, in its 24th year, also included prayers for the MH17 victims.

"We don't know when the remains can be sent to Malaysia but we will coordinate with the Dutch authorities to ensure they can be returned as soon as possible," he added.

On July 17, Flight MH17, carrying 298 people including 43 Malaysians, crashed in eastern Ukraine after it was believed to have been shot down.

Liow, who heads the committee to oversee the last rites for the victims, said the date for the country's national day of mourning over the incident would be fixed once all the bodies had been identified.

In Kuala Lumpur, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said a proposal would be made that the entire nation observes "a moment of silence" upon the return of the remains of the crash victims.

"The moment of silence could be longer than a minute, when everything comes to a standstill.

"This can be a very touching gesture from the heart, which the entire nation can participate in when the remains are brought back home," he told reporters.

He said the idea had received positive feedback and would be tabled before the Cabinet this Wednesday.

Hishammuddin and Liow would discuss the matter on Monday. On Aug 1, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the Government would declare a day of mourning when the first of the bodies of Malaysian victims in the MH17 tragedy are flown home.