The president of Malaysia’s Equestrian Federation is among six people who died in a helicopter crash after the machine reportedly exploded in midair on Saturday.
Malaysian media reports that Tan Sri Dato Seri Dr Jamaluddin Jarjis, 63, a senior member of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s party, died along with five others when the aircraft crashed.
A witness told Malaysia’s official Bernama news agency that the helicopter “exploded in mid-air” during heavy rain. “Then, the debris, tail and blades were thrown all over the place,” Roslan Harun said.
Known in the horse world as Tan Sri JJ, Jarjis was a keen polo player with the Royal Selangor Polo Club, and had been president of the Equestrian Association of Malaysia since 2001.
Tan Sri JJ was the Member of Parliament for Rompin, Chairman of PR1MA and Malaysia’s Special Envoy to USA. He had held several positions in cabinet over the years, including Second Minister of Finance, Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, and was Malaysian Ambassador to the US from 2009 to 2012.
A minute’s silence was being observed before the final of the RSPC Merdeka League Tournament on Sunday. Tan Sri JJ’s riderless horse will be on the field.
The Royal Selangor Polo Club is holding a wake on Wednesday, April 8, at the club.
An investigation into the crash is under way, Malaysia’s transport minister Liow Tiony Lai said.
Tan Sri JJ is survived by his wife, Puan Sri Dr Khalsom, and children Hafiz, Anis, Alyaa, and Adilla.