Malaysia helicopter crash victims’ children to get 1,000 ringgit each, plus other aid: education ministry

by Admin
Malaysia helicopter crash victims’ children to get 1,000 ringgit each, plus other aid: education ministry

SINGAPORE: All 21 children of the 10 naval personnel killed in Malaysia’s twin helicopter crash on Tuesday (Apr 23) will receive RM 1,000 (US$210) each, on top of other education support, said Minister of Higher Education Zambry Abdul Kadir.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday evening after visiting one victim’s family, Dr Zambry also said any of the children studying at a university will be exempted from paying fees until the completion of their studies.

Dr Zambry noted that only one of the victims’ children, Ms Nurul Shahfiqah, the 21-year-old daughter of Warrant Officer Mohd Shahrizan Mohd Termizi, who is a student at Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK), was currently studying at university. 

He added that the decision was made to alleviate the financial burden on the victims’ families and was approved by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, according to the Malay Mail. 

“So far, our data shows that there are 21 children who are still in school and they have been identified to receive free SSPN accounts,” said Dr Zambry, referring to the national savings scheme for higher education purposes. 

“I believe that the Defence Ministry may have plans for the children, so having an SSPN account will facilitate contributions, including from other agencies. We will update the actual number of affected children (by the accident),” the minister added.

An interim report into the Perak helicopter crash that left 10 servicemen dead will also be ready in two weeks, according to a government spokesperson. 

Mr Fahmi Fadzil, speaking at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, said the country’s defence minister Minister Mohamed Khaled Nordin had committed to the report’s delivery and that the full report would be ready in a month. 

“The Defence Minister will be making several announcements on the matter,” added Mr Fahmi Fadzil, quoted in local media.

Mr Khaled had mentioned the interim report the day before at the defence ministry’s Hari Raya celebrations. However, at that point, he did not specify a timeline, assuring reporters at the event that he and his team would try to release the report “as soon as possible.”

“We rarely have such incidents (helicopter crashes),” he added, cited in local media. 

The victims will be accorded military honours at the 23rd Royal Malay Regiment camp in Ipoh, according to Bernama news agency. 

The fatal incident occurred on the morning of Apr 23, when the Royal Malaysian Navy’s HOM and Fennec helicopters collided at 9.32am, around half an hour after taking off from their Lumut airbase.

The HOM helicopter crashed on the steps of a stadium, while the Fennec helicopter crashed into a pool. The navy confirmed that all victims were confirmed dead at the scene. 

The helicopters were taking part in rehearsals for the 90th Navy Day parade, and it was the first time that they were rehearsing together for the event, according to a statement by the defence minister.

Mr Khaled told reporters at a press conference on Apr 23 that nine of the 10 navy personnel were below 40 years old, adding that the youngest was 26 and the oldest was in his 40s.

The HOM helicopter carried four male crew members, including Commander Firdaus Ramli, commanding officer of the 503 squadron, and three female passengers.

The Fennec helicopter carried three male crew members, including Commander Muhamad Amir Mohamad, commanding officer of the 502 squadron.

According to Mr Khaled, a navy service member who was swimming in the pool the Fennec helicopter crashed into was also hit by debris and suffered a minor injury.

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