Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has given his assurance that the journey of the national contingent to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland will not be affected by the tragedy befalling Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH17 which went down in Ukraine, Thursday.
He was also confident that the tragic incident would not dampen the spirit of the remaining athletes and officials who had yet to board the aircraft to Glasgow to participate in the 20th edition of the Games beginning July 23 until Aug 3.
"I believe there won't be any problem in terms of their (athletes' and officials') desire to board the aircraft. Everyone knows that all necessary measures have been taken by the international body regulating civil aviation following the MH17 incident.
"Although the tragic incident had occurred, it would not affect and disturb the athletes' journey to Glasgow and the majority of them have already arrived there," he told reporters at the KL International Airport (KLIA), here Friday night.
He said this before departing for Glasgow, Scotland to join the national contingent to the Commonwealth Games. He left at 11.40pm on the flight MH2 from Kuala Lumpur to London before proceeding to Glasgow.
According to Khairy, so far 109 of the 269 athletes and officials had arrived in Glasgow while the remaining athletes and officials comprised those from the swimming, boxing and several other sports who would arrive Saturday and the day after.
The MAS flight, MH17, was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it went down in Ukraine. It was carrying 298 people - 283 passengers and 15 crew.
MH17 had left Amsterdam at 12.15 pm (Netherlands time) Thursday and was to have arrived in Kuala Lumpur at 6.10 am (Malaysian time) Friday.
Meanwhile, on the 'debate' between National Sports Council (NSC) Director-General Datuk Seri Zolkples Embong and the Chairman of the Sports Advisory Panel (SAP) Datuk Wira Mazlan Ahmad on the medal target at the Commonwealth Games, Khairy said the matter might not have arisen if he had made the announcement himself.
"If the minister announces the medal target, it might not have been disputed by anyone. But this time around, I gave the honour to the contingent head to announce the medal target," he said.
Throughout Malaysia's participation in the Commonwealth Games, the national contingent had won two gold medals in Victoria, Canada in 1994, 10 gold in Kuala Lumpur (1998), seven gold in Manchester, England (2002) and Melbourne, Australia (2006) and the best was 12 gold in New Delhi, India (2010).