KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 2, 2014: The family of MH17 victims Subashni Jretnam, or Shuba Jaya, her husband Paul Goes, and daughter Kaela Maya Jay Goes, had allegedly requested Malaysia Airlines (MAS) and the Nirvana Memorial Centre to protect the family’s privacy during the funeral rites today.
However, due to a miscommunication, a scuffle broke out and a photographer with the New Straits Times, Mohd Aizuddin Akmal Saad, 29, was allegedly attacked by a family member of the victims.
Logan Retnam, believed to be Shuba Jaya’s family member, today claimed in a Facebook posting that the family was not given privacy to mourn their loss.
“MAS published personal details about the burial plans when we had told MAS to protect our privacy,” Logan claimed, adding that Nirvana had allowed the media in despite the family having requested for privacy.
“When we repeatedly said ‘No media!’, this NST guy didn’t take heed and he took some shots of us. Then the altercation started,” Logan wrote.
He added that the reason for him writing the posting was to provide the family’s side of the story after reports began trickling in on the assault on the photographer.
“I don’t understand why the media thinks that we have to share our private moments to them. Do we owe you that?
“If this happens to your loved ones, probably then you can feel the same pain and anger as what we are going through now!”
Logan alleged on a separate Facebook posting earlier that the main entrance of the centre was blocked by reporters, with photographers standing by at the back entrance, pointing their lenses at the family.
“Whose blood won’t boil after they didn’t listen after being repeatedly told not to memorialise the funeral images out of respect for the family.
“Are the images of the dead bodies of the MH17 victims not enough?
“Blame the media practitioners for being rude by failing to respect the family’s last wishes,” he had written.
Logan urged the public to be in the shoes of the family, explaining that it was not a good feeling, especially when hordes of reporters and photographers arrived to cover the loss of loved ones.
He claimed that it was a different scenario for Paul’s family in the Netherlands.
“Our Dutch family shared to us that they didn’t have to worry about the media in the Netherlands as they were given space to mourn privately.
“The media came only if the families wanted them to cover their stories.”
The Rakyat Post sent a message to Logan via his Facebook for further details. However, no reply was received.
Mohd Aizuddin was one of many media personnel covering the funeral of MH17 today.
His altercation led Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar to order a police investigation into the matter.