18 JULY 2014
The headlines in today’s Borneo Post Online ‘MH17: A tragedy too close to home’ says it all for us in PKR Sarawak. The shock and disbelief we felt while we first heard the news gave way to extreme sadness upon learning that one of the Sarawakian victims, Ariza Ghazalee was the cousin of our Deputy Chairman Zulrusdi Hol. She was also a close friend and classmate of our Krian assemblyman Ali Biju, in Kolej Abdillah Kuching in 1985 when they were studying in Form 5. Ariza, her husband Tambi Jiee and their 4 children perished in the tragedy. *
For me, the news was particularly shocking as I was in a KLM plane two days before, flying the same route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur after attending a series of meetings in the European Union. I remember feeling very uncomfortable when I noticed on the flight path monitor that we were flying over Ukraine and was on edge until we left Ukrainian airspace.
As described by Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim, the shooting down of MH17 was an act of mass murder, and we join in the international community’s condemnation of this atrocity. So many lives have been lost, families shattered and hearts broken. We call upon the Malaysian and international authorities to ensure that those responsible be made to answer for this criminal act against innocent citizens of the world. If it is indeed true that Ukrainian rebels had shot at the plane, the full weight of international law must be brought down on them.
Words are inadequate to express our sorrow and to comfort the grieving, but words are all we can offer now. We offer our deepest sympathy to the families and friends of the passengers and crew of MH17, and we pray that they will find the strength to face the painful days ahead. We pray that the souls of those whose lives were so cruelly cut short, will rest in peace.
On behalf of PKR Sarawak,
*Addendum: After this statement was released to the press, I learned that another Sarawakian, Meling Anak Mula from Rh. Wilson Begat, Penom, Paku, Betong was also in the ill-fated plane. We send our deepest condolences to his bereaved family and friends.