Hundreds pay last respects to Sarawak helicopter victims

Hundreds pay last respects to Sarawak helicopter victims
The search and rescue team carrying the bodies found in Lingga, Batang Lupar, after the crash on April 5, 2016
PHOTO: Harian Metro

PETALING JAYA: Tears flowed freely as relatives and friends of four Sarawak helicopter tragedy victims bid goodbye to their loved ones.

The bodies of the four were recovered on Saturday, three days after the incident on Thursday.

Asmuni Abdullah, 52, husband of Deputy Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Noriah Kasnon, who also died in the crash, was laid to rest in his hometown near her grave at the Batu 12 Sungai Burong Muslim cemetery yesterday morning.

Noriah's body was found and buried on Friday.

Hundreds of relatives and friends were at the funeral, but Asmuni's four children from his previous marriage were not able to attend.

Asmuni's sister Norliah, 50, said her brother had planned to bring his children, a 20-year-old daughter and three sons aged 21, 18 and 14, to Malaysia for Hari Raya Puasa.

"But it was not to be. We have also informed his 48-year-old ex-wife in New York, and they are still in shock over his sudden passing," she said when met at her brother's funeral yesterday.

In Kuala Kangsar, the remains of Datuk Wan Mohammad Khair-il Anuar Wan Ahmad were laid to rest at the burial grounds next to Masjid Ubudiah early yesterday.

The 56-year-old Kuala Kangsar MP's wife Datin Mastura Mohd Yazid and her four sons as well as other family members and friends were in tears as they watched his body being lowered into the ground.

Those who paid their last respects, include Perak Ruler Sultan Nazrin Shah and his consort Raja Permaisuri Perak Tuanku Zara Salim, Raja Di-Hilir Perak Raja Iskandar Dzulkarnain, Raja Muda of Perak Raja Jaafar Raja Muda Musa and Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Zambry Abd Kadir.

In Subang Jaya, the family and friends of Datuk Dr Sundaran Annamalai tearfully bade goodbye to the man who they described as a dedicated civil servant with a heart of gold.

The late Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry secretary-general's brother Govinda­samy, 65, remembered him as a kind and loving person.

"He was very family-oriented. No matter how busy he was, he always had time for us.

"He was very kind and would never say no when people came to seek his help," he told reporters at Dr Sundaran's funeral yesterday.

Hundreds of family members, friends and civil servants including International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam and Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah were at Dr Sundaran's family residence to pay their last respects.

Malaysian Associated Indian Chambers Of Commerce and Industry president Tan Sri K. Kenneth Eswaran expressed the chamber's sadness at Dr Sundaran's death.

"We are very saddened by the loss of a man who has contributed to the nation's development and to the Indian community," he said in a statement yesterday.

In Kuala Nerus, Terengganu, the body of Datuk Noriah's bodyguard, 26-year-old police constable Ahmad Sobri Haron, was buried at Kampung Tok Mek Ngah Muslim cemetery with full police honours.

Hundreds including Mentri Besar Ahmad Razif Abd Rahman and police personnel attended the burial yesterday.

State police chief Deputy Commissioner Datuk Rosli Ab Rahman later handed over the Royal Malaysian police flag which covered the casket to Ahmad Sobri's father, Haron Muda, 61.

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