Thousands Gather to Mourn Commander Muhammad Firdaus at Funeral in Penang

The tragic helicopter crash in Malaysia claims 10 navy personnel, including the respected Commander Muhammad Firdaus Ramli. Thousands mourn the fallen heroes, highlighting the nation's deep appreciation for their service.

Geeta Pillai
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Thousands Gather to Mourn Commander Muhammad Firdaus at Funeral in Penang

Thousands Gather to Mourn Commander Muhammad Firdaus at Funeral in Penang

The funeral of Commander Muhammad Firdaus Ramli, the Royal Malaysian Navy's Squadron 503 Commanding Officer who died in a helicopter crash in Lumut, was held at the Jamek Sungai Nibong Besar Mosque in George Town, Penang on Tuesday. Large crowds gathered at the mosque since 5 pm to pay their final respects to the fallen commander.

The hearse bearing Muhammad Firdaus' coffin arrived at the mosque at 7:41 pm, greeted by over 1,000 mourners. Notable figures in attendance included state executive councillors, the Royal Malaysian Navy chief Admiral Tan Sri Abdul Rahman Ayob, and Major General Datuk Azhan Md Othman.

Earlier in the day, post-mortem examinations were concluded on all 10 victims of the mid-air collision involving two navy helicopters at the RMN base in Lumut. The bodies of the Muslim victims were transported to the 23rd Battalion Regiment of the Royal Malay Regiment in Ipoh for funeral prayers, while the remains of Lieutenant T. Sivasutan and Chief Petty Officer Joanna Felicia were taken to their respective family residences for burial rites.

Why this matters: The tragic helicopter crash has shocked and saddened the nation, with the loss of 10 dedicated navy personnel. The outpouring of support and mourners at Commander Muhammad Firdaus' funeral highlights the deep respect and appreciation Malaysians have for the sacrifices made by their armed forces in service to the country.

Muhammad Firdaus, known as 'Tuan Kecik' among his colleagues due to his small stature, was remembered as an exemplary older brother who had a passion for flying fighter jets. He is survived by his wife, Soffiyah Sa'adon, and their four-year-old son, who were flown from Sabah to Ipoh, Perak for the funeral.

The burial ceremony was carried out according to navy tradition, with a guard of honor and Royal Malaysian Navy personnel saluting their fallen comrade. Muhammad Firdaus' father, Ramli Abd Hamid, described his son as "a hero to the country and the people of Sungai Nibong, where he was born and raised."

The Malaysian government has provided preliminary assistance of RM10,000 to the families of the victims and will cover all costs involved in the funeral arrangements and flights for the families. A board of inquiry has been established to investigate the cause of the crash and submit a preliminary report within 14 days and a full report within 30 working days.

Key Takeaways

  • Funeral held for Navy Commander Muhammad Firdaus Ramli who died in helicopter crash.
  • Over 1,000 mourners attended the funeral at Jamek Sungai Nibong Besar Mosque in Penang.
  • Victims' bodies transported for funeral prayers and burial rites across different locations.
  • Government provided RM10,000 assistance to victims' families and will cover funeral costs.
  • Board of inquiry established to investigate the cause of the crash within 30 days.