SEPANG: The remains of Malaysian Everest 2023 (ME2023) climber Lt. Col Awang Askandar Ampuan Yaacub arrived at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) at about 7.30 am today.

The body of the Kedah Civil Defence Force (APM) director arrived home on the MH115 flight, which departed from Kathmandu, Nepal at 11.30 pm yesterday (Nepal Time).

Awang Askandar’s remains will be taken to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah with the MH2646 flight at 11.35 am and are expected to arrive at the Kota Kinabalu Airport at 2.15 pm.

More than 70 APM personnel paid their last respects to the deceased at the KLIA Cargo Complex, followed by the Yasin recital and tahlil led by Assoc Lt (PA) Miszlee Samais.

Also in attendance were the Raja Muda of Kedah Tengku Sarafuddin Badlishah Sultan Sallehuddin and Che Puan Muda Zaheeda Mohamad Ariff.

Yesterday, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah, Sarawak Affairs and Special Functions) Datuk Armizan Mohd Ali said Awang Askandar’s remains would be taken to his family house in Kampung Benoni, Papar and later taken to the As-Salam Benoni Mosque for funeral prayers.

His remains will be buried at the Kampung Benoni Muslim Cemetery and accorded full APM honours during the burial.

Awang Askandar, 56, was reported to have fallen when making the final ascent at 8,000m and was pronounced dead while being treated at Camp 4.

During the mishap, Awang Askandar was with fellow climber Muhammad Hawari Hashim, 33, and would have needed only 20 minutes to reach the peak.

The hearing-impaired Muhammad Hawari was reported missing after reaching the summit, and the search and rescue efforts are ongoing. - Bernama