KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has expressed his sadness and sympathy for the loss of national hero Lt Kol Awang Askandar Ampuan Yaacub, who died on May 19 while ascending Mount Everest.

Anwar tweeted that the passing of Awang Askandar is a great loss for the country and which saddened all Malaysians.

“I had the opportunity to meet Awang (Askandar) in Parliament before his departure to Everest.

“My family and I and all Malaysians pray that his soul be placed among the righteous and his family be given perseverance and strength to face this test,” he said.

Awang Askandar, 56, who was the Kedah Malaysian Civil Defence Force (MCDF) director, was reported to have fallen when making the final ascent at 8,000m and was pronounced dead while being treated at Camp 4 of the tallest peak in the world.

The Malaysia Everest 2023 (ME2023) climber was laid to rest at the Kampung Benoni Muslim Cemetery in Papar, Sabah, at 5.20 pm today.- Bernama