The Malaysian government will be allocating a special grave site in Putrajaya for Muslim victims of downed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom said the special site has already been determined, and the victims’ families will have a choice whether to have the bodies buried in Putrajaya or in their respective hometowns.
He added that the Islamic Development Department of Malaysia (Jakim) and the Selangor and Federal Territories Islamic Religious Departments would be providing the logistics to bring the Muslim remains home to their families.
“There will be enough vehicles. Putrajaya Corporation is also prepared to allocate graves at the burial ground in Precinct 20 for the victims if there are requests from their families,” Jamil said to The Star Online.
Out of the 298 people on board Flight MH17, 43 passengers and crew members were Malaysian. From those 43 Malaysians who had died in the crash, 21 were Muslims.
That leaves the question of what special honours the government in Putrajaya plans to accord the non-Muslim Malaysian victims of Flight MH17. Which government agency will provide logistics for those remains to be returned to their families? Will there be a special burial ground set aside for them?
The fact that the Malaysian government is announcing special arrangements for only less than half of the total number of Malaysians killed in this tragedy seems a little awkward.
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 is believed to have been shot down over the eastern Ukrainian province of Donetsk on Thursday July 17, while en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. The Boeing 777 jetliner was carrying 298 people,193 of whom were Dutch nationals. There were no survivors.