Safe passage to crash site still biggest concern, says Hisham

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KUALA LUMPUR: Safe passage to the crash site of flight MH17 is still the biggest concern, even though a ceasefire has been announced, said Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.

Hishammuddin who departed for Ukraine on Sept 07 (Sunday) night, believes it will not be an easy task for him at ground zero.

“Thank God there is a ceasefire on the table, but whether it can be translated to the crash site, grant safe passage for our boys to go down [remains to be seen].

“Whether we can get the other countries like the Netherlands and Australia to join the team ... that is what I have to do, when I go to Ukraine,” he told a press conference, after opening the Segambut Umno delegates meeting on Sept 07.

The ceasefire between Ukraine government forces and the pro-Russian rebels went into effect on Sept 05 (Friday), following an agreement signed in the Belarus capital of Minsk.

The remains of seven more Malaysian victims of the MH17 tragedy were repatriated on Sept 02 (Tuesday), bringing the total to 31.

A Bernama report from Kuantan says investigations at the MH17 crash site in eastern Ukraine must be done fast, as the upcoming winter could make the process difficult.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said snow would hamper the probe by the 30-man Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) investigation team, which was to depart for the crash site on Sept 07 night.

He said considering the weather conditions, PDRM must conduct its investigation immediately to search for remains or evidence at the crash site.
Ahmad Zahid said the investigating team this time would include divers who will be making dives in the lake near the crash site, as previously they could not do so, because of the skirmishes between the Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists. — Bernama

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on Sept 08, 2014.