August 20, KUALA LUMPUR - A final tribute ceremony in conjunction with the Official Ceremony of the 27th Session of the New Zealand Armed Forces and Citizens (Op Te Auraki) from the Malaysian government to the New Zealand government at the Bunga Raya Complex, Kuala Lumpur was held on 20 August 2018. Minister of Defense Malaysia, YB Tuan Haji Mohamad bin Sabu witnessed the Signing Ceremony of the Official Certificate of Submission of 27 New Zealand military and / or military units by the Chief of Defence Forces, General Tan Sri Dato 'Seri Panglima Hj Zulkifli bin Hj Zainal Abidin and Chief of the New Zealand Army Chief General Peter Kelly.
A total of 400 Defense Ministry personnel and delegates from New Zealand attended the coffin handing over ceremony and were executed by the Malaysian Armed Forces Team (ATM) Team headed by an officer and 180 Other Pangkat members. All the former coffees that were previously stationed at the Wardieburn Hall were officially presented today to the Kingdom of New Zealand. The crew members and residents are expected to arrive in New Zealand on August 21, 2018 and then handed over to their families at a ceremony in Auckland.
The skeletons involved New Zealand soldiers who were killed during the Second World War, the First Emergency and mostly concentrated in the state of Perak and the Malaysia-Thailand border until 1966. It is estimated that nearly 4000 New Zealand troops served in Malaya / Malaysia before being mobilized to Vietnam in 1967. In 2017, the New Zealand Government announced a change in its repatriation policy and intended to bring home a New Zealand military burial member buried abroad between 1955 and 1971 at the expense fully borne by the New Zealand Government.
The frame recognition process, forensic analysis and excavations have been implemented from 3 July until 12 August 2018 in three major Commonwealth War Grave (CWG) Camp Terendak, Melaka involving 16 skeletons of New Zealand troops, 4 skeletons of members including a New Zealand family in CWG Cheras, Kuala Lumpur and 7 frames at CWG Kamunting, Perak. Excavation works, forensic analysis, reconciliation process and identification board which began on 21 March 2017 involve 558 experts and officers from various agencies within and outside the country and headed by Major General Dato 'Doktor Haji Mohd Ilham bin Haji Haron, Division Forensic Dentist ATM Dental Service. Among those involved are from the Ministry of Defense, New Zealand Experts, Port Dickson Army Museum, Ministry of Health Malaysia, Malaysian Nuclear Agency, Global Archeology Research Center, Malay Institute of Malay Civilization and National University of Malaysia with medical expertise, odontology and forensic radiology in archaeological disciplines for work identification and verification of the victim.
Also present were Defense Minister of Malaysia, YB Tuan Haji Mohamad bin Sabu, Chief of Defense Forces, YBhg General Tan Sri Dato' Seri Panglima Hj Zulkifli bin Hj Zainal Abidin, Secretary General of the Ministry of Defense, YBhg Dato' Halimi bin Abdul Manaf, Deputy New High Commissioner Zealand, Mr Gareth Pedgeon and Commander of the New Zealand Army, Major General Peter Kelly.