Sunday July 16, 2017
08:09 PM GMT+8

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JULY 16 — Today marks the third anniversary of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH17 incident with 283 passengers and 15 crew on board. The unprecedented tragedy stunned the world when a Boeing 777-200 commercial aircraft from Amsterdam en route to Kuala Lumpur was shot down over Donetsk, Ukraine.

The date July 17, 2014 will always be in our memory particularly to all Malaysian after the shocking MH370 tragedy four months prior. It has undoubtedly been a difficult and trying thirty-six months for the families and loved ones of the passengers and crew Flight MH17.

Three years may have passed, but the memories of the passengers and crew on board will always be with all of us and they will be remembered dearly. Ten nations have also lost sons and daughters to this tragedy.

There are no words that can describe the feelings, pain and sorrow that the families and loved ones of those on board have gone through in these three years since that unfortunate day.

The Government of Malaysia, along with our Joint Investigation Team (JIT) partners have never wavered from our commitments to seek justice by prosecuting the perpetrators responsible for this inhuman act. In this regard, we welcome the joint decision reached by JIT for a national prosecution to take place in the Netherlands as an effective process for ensuring accountability in compliance with the highest international standards.

We are also pleased to note that the Dutch Public Prosecution Service will make the necessary decisions concerning prosecution at the appropriate time given the criminal investigation is still ongoing.

With this new development, Malaysia is ever more resolute to seek justice and remains single-minded in our pursuit to prosecute those who are responsible in this unfortunate tragedy.

We wish to also record our gratitude to our colleagues in JIT for standing together with us since the first day of this unfortunate tragedy and to all the other nations and organisations who have helped Malaysia during these trying times in particular for all the hard work that now enables us to move forward on a more solid ground.

While we cannot take away the grief of the families and loved ones of MH17 passengers and crew, we will do everything possible to ensure justice is done independently, fairly and transparently. We will not rest until all the facts are known and justice is served.

This day is in fact, a very sad day for us. However, during these trying times, we must strengthen our solidarity and unity among ourselves, in memory of this MH17 tragedy.

Recently, I have had the opportunity to meet the Malaysian passengers and crew’s next-of-kin in a special session to commemorate the third anniversary of the unfortunate tragedy and to remember all 298 passengers and crew on board flight MH17.

I hope and pray so that the families and loved ones of those on board will be given strength to resume normal lives, or as normal a life as may be possible without their loved ones. Our thoughts and prayers have and will always be with all the families and loved ones as we stand together with them in these trying times.

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail Online.

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