Sultan of Selangor Cancels Royal Malaysian Navy 90th Anniversary Celebration After Helicopter Crash Tragedy

The tragic helicopter crash during a Royal Malaysian Navy parade rehearsal claims 10 lives, leading to the cancellation of the 90th anniversary celebrations. The nation mourns the loss of these "national heroes" as an investigation is launched.

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Sultan of Selangor Cancels Royal Malaysian Navy 90th Anniversary Celebration After Helicopter Crash Tragedy

Sultan of Selangor Cancels Royal Malaysian Navy 90th Anniversary Celebration After Helicopter Crash Tragedy

The Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, has consented to the cancellation of the Royal Malaysian Navy's (RMN) 90th Anniversary celebrations and parade, which was scheduled for April 26, 2024. This decision follows a tragic incident on April 23 involving two RMN helicopters during a rehearsal at the RMN Lumut Base in Perak, which claimed the lives of all 10 RMN personnel on board.

Instead of the anniversary celebration, a Yasin recital, tahlil, and 'doa selamat' (prayer for safety) will be held at the An-Nur mosque at the RMN base in Lumut before Friday prayers on April 26. Sultan Sharafuddin, as the RMN Captain-in-Chief, is expected to attend the solemn event.

The fatal crash occurred when two helicopters, a Maritime Operations Helicopter (HOM-AW139) with seven crew members and a TLDM Fennec with three crew members, collided mid-air over the navy base during a third practice run for the parade rehearsal. The victims, all navy officers or members aged below 40 years old, were identified as senior RMN officers, pilots, and other personnel from Squadron 502 and Squadron 503.

Why this matters: The helicopter crash marks the worst aviation disaster for the Royal Malaysian Navy in recent years and the deadliest helicopter incident in Malaysia since a 2016 crash in Sarawak. The tragedy has deeply affected the nation, with the government and military leaders expressing their condolences and support for the families of the fallen crew members.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim described the incident as a "heartbreaking and soul-wrenching tragedy" and stated that the nation grieves with the families of the victims. Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and various state Menteris Besar have also conveyed their sympathies.

The Malaysian Defence Minister, Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, announced that an investigation board will be set up to determine the cause of the accident. The Ministry of Defence has ordered an immediate probe into the crash, while the government has advised against the circulation of images and video clips of the incident out of respect for the victims' families.

In a statement, Sultan Sharafuddin expressed his deepest condolences over the tragic demise of the 10 RMN personnel, whom he referred to as "national heroes." "Their service, dedication, and sacrifices to the country will always be remembered," the Sultan said, adding that he greatly valued their contributions and prayed that their souls will be blessed by Allah and rest in peace.

Key Takeaways

  • RMN's 90th anniversary celebration canceled after tragic helicopter crash kills 10 personnel.
  • Crash occurred during rehearsal for parade, involving two RMN helicopters colliding mid-air.
  • Crash is the worst aviation disaster for RMN in recent years and deadliest helicopter incident in Malaysia since 2016.
  • Government and military leaders express condolences, investigation board to be set up to determine cause.
  • Sultan Sharafuddin calls victims "national heroes," prays for their souls to rest in peace.