Former minister Jamaluddin Jarjis, PM’s aide in deadly helicopter crash

A picture purportedly showing debris at the scene of today’s helicopter crash in Semenyih. — Picture courtesy of Selangor Fire and Rescue Department
A picture purportedly showing debris at the scene of today’s helicopter crash in Semenyih. — Picture courtesy of Selangor Fire and Rescue Department

KUALA LUMPUR, April 4 — Rompin MP Tan Sri Jamaluddin Jarjis was among the six people involved in a deadly helicopter crash in Semenyih this evening, according to the Kuala Lumpur Fire and Rescue Department.

A picture purportedly taken at the site of today’s helicopter crash in Semenyih. — Picture courtesy of Selangor Fire and Rescue Department
A picture purportedly taken at the site of today’s helicopter crash in Semenyih. — Picture courtesy of Selangor Fire and Rescue Department

According to the department’s chief operating officer Samsol Maarif Saibani, others also on board included businessman Datuk Robert Tan; Datuk Azlin Alias, the prime minister’s private chief secretary; Cliff Fournier, the pilot and owner of Chempaka Aviation; Aidana Baizieva; and bodyguard Razakan Seran.

According to information provided by the Royal Malaysian Air Force, the helicopter was en route from Kuantan to Sungai Besi when it crashed.

All six bodies were recovered by 9.30pm, with no survivors from the flight. No other deaths or casualties were reported.

“According to preliminary information received, the helicopter crashed and burst into flames at about 4.55pm,” a Civil Defence Department spokesman was quoted as saying by national news agency Bernama.

An eyewitness claimed to see the helicopter explode into flames mid-air.

“It exploded completely, disintegrated in mid-air; it didn’t crash, the rotor and tail section were flung all over the place,” Roslan Harun, a 54-year-old security guard who was on duty near the scene, told Bernama.

The spokesman added that three rescue teams from Kajang, Bangi and Semenyih have been deployed to the crash site.

The aircraft involved is believed to be a commercially-operated Eurocopter AS365 N2 Dauphin.

Jamaluddin’s death will trigger a by-election in the Rompin federal constituency, where he had been MP since 1990.

Rompin MP Tan Sri Jamaluddin Jarjis (seated, second right) attends the wedding reception of the daughter of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in Pekan April 4, 2015. — Bernama pic
Rompin MP Tan Sri Jamaluddin Jarjis (seated, second right) attends the wedding reception of the daughter of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in Pekan April 4, 2015. — Bernama pic

During the Mahathir administration, Jamaluddin served as second finance minister before briefly heading the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs.

He then went on to become minister of science, technology and innovation during the Abdullah administration, and in 2009 had been appointed special envoy to the United States by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

* A previous version of this report erroneously identified Datuk Robert Tan as the founder of IGB Corp and has since been corrected.

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