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Malaysians hold vigil for MH17 victims

Malaysians have held a vigil to honour the victims of the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, including Malaysian actress Shuba Jaya, her Dutch husband and their toddler.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians have held a vigil to honour the victims of the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

On July 17, Malaysian actress Shuba Jaya, her Dutch husband Paul Goes and their toddler, Kaela were on their way home to Kuala Lumpur. They had just been to visit Goes' parents in the Netherlands – that trip would be the first and last time two-year-old Kaela would ever meet her paternal grandparents.

Less than four hours after taking off from Amsterdam, the plane she and her family were on crashed into rebel-held east Ukraine. Kaela, Goes, Shuba and all 295 others onboard MH17 perished.

At Bangsar Village in Kuala Lumpur, the memories of Shuba's family and many others onboard MH17 are being honoured. An actress in a number of local productions, Shuba is remembered as an inspiration by her industry peers.

Sangeeta Krishnasamy, an actress and Shuba's relative, said: "She was into martial arts you know, and if you see her Facebook page she had this dream of becoming a star in an action film, so I used to see these news feeds and to see these dreams just trashed...I don't know, it could've been me."

Others in attendance paid tribute to the 15 crew members onboard the ill-fated MH17. Malar Meni Perumal, A former Malaysia Airlines crew member, said: "I still remember Dora very well, she really lights up your day and when I was very new, she really guided me very well - that is one thing about Dora that I really cannot forget."

The kinship to Malaysia Airlines was something shared by MH17 air stewardess Angeline Premila Rajendran. Angeline joined Malaysia Airlines at age 20 and since she loved the job so much, she stayed on for a decade.

Ramnath, a school mate of Angeline, said: "The last time I spoke to her was two months ago via Facebook. I told her about MH370 and asked how's everything going on, and she said it was okay. I said, quit the job. Quit the job, it's not safe, it's not safe anymore. She said nothing is safe, it shouldn't be a problem. According to her friends, she's supposed to leave the job and she was going to continue her studies, but now it's too late."

Indeed, many hopes and dreams perished with those onboard flight MH17 when it crashed. But friends and family hope that through such vigils, their legacies, at least, will be kept alive. 

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