Fri, 19 Jul 2024


Everest climber laid to rest in Papar
Published on: Sunday, May 28, 2023
By: Agust Dean
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Everest climber laid to rest in Papar
Awang Askandar’s third child, Ameera Hana, sowing flowers at her father’s grave.
PAPAR: A gloomy atmosphere enveloped the grounds of Islamic Cemetery in Kg Benoni, here, when the body of Malaysia Everest 2023 climber Lieutenant Colonel Awang Askandar Ampuan Yaacub, 56, arrived for burial on Saturday.

Awang Askandar, who was the Director of Kedah Civil Defence Force (APM), was buried next to the grave of his mother, Dg Fatimah Ag Ampuan Jair.

His body arrived in Kota Kinabalu at 2.15pm on Saturday and was received by his brother, Awang Asim Ampuan Yaacub, 57, along with several other distinguished guests and APM officials as well as members.

Awang Askandar’s body was then brought to Kampung Benoni – his hometown – for family members, relatives and APM officials to pay their last respects before a prayer session was held at Masjid Jamek As Salam. Some 1,000 people were present, including Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Mohamad Alamin, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah, Sarawak and Special Duties) Datuk Armizan Mohd Ali, former Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman and Kawang Assemblyman Datuk Ghulam Haidar Khan.

The casket of Awang Askandar at MAS Cargo, KKIA. Armizan is seen at the centre and Mohamad (fourth from left).

Awang Askandar left behind a wife and six children, with the youngest child being two years.

His third child, eight-year-old Ameera Hana, was present at the cemetery to sprinkle water and sow flowers on her father’s grave.

Awang Askandar was reported to have died after falling on May 19 while at an altitude of 8,000 metres above sea level, which was about 20 minutes before reaching the top summit of Everest.

Meanwhile, Armizan said the State Government has guaranteed that the welfare and education of the children of Awang Askandar will be given attention.

He said the employment qualifications and length of service of Awang Askandar would be taken into account when channelling aid to the family.

“We will also help in the claim and management of Awang Askandar’s insurance money for the family and also try to get donations from various parties,” he said.

The Papar MP said he was concerned about the welfare of Awang Askandar’s family, especially the wife and children, and will do his best to help.

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