KUALA LUMPUR, May 24 — The remains of Sergeant Faridah Abd Rahman — a member of Malaysian Battalion 850-11 (Malbatt 850-11) for the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (Unifil), who died on Saturday — were flown back home yesterday evening.

The Joint Force Headquarters, in a statement on their Facebook page informed that a commercial aircraft carrying the remains departed from Rafik Hariri Airport, Beirut to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) at 12.05 local time in Lebanon (5.05pm Malaysian time).

The burial is to be held at deceased’s hometown in Pendang, Kedah, tomorrow.

According to the statement, a military honours ceremony was conducted by Unifil at the Rafik Hariri International Airport.


Present at the ceremony were Unifil Commander Lt Gen Aroldo Lazaro, Malaysian Ambassador to Lebanon Azri Mat Yaacob, Commander of the 5th Brigade (LAF) Brig Gen Ahmad Saadeh, Western Sector Commander Brig Gen Enrico Fontana, and Malbatt 850-11 Commander Colonel Burhan Sagoni.

“Members of the Malbatt 850-11 contingent were also present, and a solemn atmosphere was felt as the remains were lowered from the mortuary van and carried inside.”

“Distinguished guests paid their respects as the coffin was carried and placed in the centre of the field draped with the Unifil flag,” the statement read.


It said that the ceremony commenced with the awarding of the UN and Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) Bravery Medal (Bronze) to the deceased, with Lazaro placing the UN medal as recognition of Sergeant Faridah’s sacrifices while serving under the UN flag.

“Subsequently, LAF representative Ahmad Saadeh presented the Lebanese medal as a token of appreciation from the Lebanese Government, and a wreath was laid, initiated by the Unifil Commander, followed by the Malaysian Ambassador to Lebanon, LAF representative, Western Sector Commander and Malbatt Commander,” the statement continued.

The atmosphere on the field turned sombre and poignant as the “last post” was played as a final tribute to Sergeant Faridah, it said, adding that the ceremony concluded with the Unifil flag being folded by Malbatt members, followed by a prayer before the deceased’s coffin, draped with the Malaysian flag, was carried out of the field and taken to the cargo storage area to be flown to Malaysia.

On May 19, the Malaysian Armed Forces Headquarters announced in a statement that Faridah passed away at 2.25am local time in Lebanon (7.25am Malaysian time) when she collapsed after disembarking from a bus at the Marakah Camp, shortly after arriving in Lebanon from a one-month vacation in Malaysia. — Bernama