Malaysia PM vows to seek truth, justice in MH17 downing

By P Prem Kumar

KUALA LUMPUR (AA) – Two years after Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was downed over eastern Ukraine, Malaysia’s prime minister has renewed his vow not to rest until the country obtains a detailed and satisfactory explanation on the tragedy that killed 298 people.

“The efforts will continue as we continue to strive for justice through the avenues of international laws,” Najib Razak said in a statement Sunday.

“Two years ago, flight MH17 was shot down over Ukraine. It was a criminal act that outraged the world,” he underlined.

Razak said the government will never forget the passengers and crew members on board, nor the grief of the victims’ families.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with them on this most painful of days,” he added.

The Kuala Lumpur-bound flight MH17 from Amsterdam was shot down in the troubled Ukrainian state of Donetsk on July 17, 2014, killing all 283 passengers and 15 crew on board.

Of the causalities from MH17, 193 were nationals of the Netherlands, 43 of Malaysia and 27 of Australia.

At the time MH17 was shot down, fierce fighting was taking place in eastern Ukraine between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian government troops –both sides have denied responsibility.

Last year, the Dutch Safety Board concluded MH17 was hit by a Russian-made Buk missile.

The Russian government has challenged the findings, with the makers of Buk missile systems, Almaz-Antey, saying that experiments proved that one of its missiles could not have been launched from areas under pro-Russia separatist control.

On Saturday, Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said preliminary findings into the incident are expected to be received before the end of 2016.