Najib: Day of mourning when MH17 victims' bodies return
The Government will declare a day of mourning when the bodies of Malaysian victims in the MH17 tragedy are flown home, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
The victims' remains arrived in the Netherlands from Ukraine last week and Mr Najib praised the way the Dutch government had organised a very dignified ceremony.
He said the ceremony allowed the country to grieve together. It also provided the honour and dignity that the victims and their families deserved, The Star reported.
"God willing, we will do the same when the time comes. We will declare the day as a day of mourning for the whole country and I'm hoping to be there to receive the Malaysian bodies when they arrive," he told the Malaysian audience at the dinner he hosted on Thursday night.
When Mr Najib met his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte on Thursday, he said Malaysians shared their loss and understood what the Dutch were going through, having lost their own countrymen in the tragedy.
The silver lining: Bilateral relations between Malaysia and the Netherlands had grown closer "from this tragic and unfortunate event".
Justice has to be done
Mr Najib had also entered negotiations with the pro-Russian separatists controlling the crash site area because the MH17 black box, comprising the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder, must be delivered into Malaysian hands.
They could be a very strong basis for hard evidence which would explain what had befallen the Boeing 777 on July 17.
He said the international community must stand together.
"Justice has to be done and seen to be done. For that reason, I did what I had to do. Not because I'm not aware of the sensitivity, but uttermost in my mind was that I owe this to the families concerned," he said.
Najib also noted that Malaysia Airlines (MAS) had been receiving letters since the incident happened but these were not letters of blame towards MAS or Malaysia.
People realised that Malaysia and MAS were also victims of a vicious struggle going on in Ukraine, with which they had nothing to do.
"But unfortunately, both the Dutch and Malaysians, and Australians and others, have become victims of a struggle in one corner of the world which we are not party to at all," he said.
Sources: Star Online, Reuters, AFP