Malaysian siamese twins remain indebted to late Saudi king

Malaysian siamese twins remain indebted to late Saudi king
Grateful twins: Ahmad and Muhammad at their home in Petaling Jaya.

PETALING JAYA - A pair of Siamese twins in Malaysia, whose major operation to separate them was sponsored by the late King Abdullah Abdul Aziz, still have the prosthetic legs they received from him.

Ahmad Rosli, 17, said he and his brother Muhammad still kept them as mementoes despite having outgrown them a long time ago.

"We have grown and can no longer fit in the prosthetic legs. But we still keep them in good condition," said Ahmad when met at his home here yesterday.

Without King Abdullah's help, the brothers admitted that they might not have been able to lead the lives that they have now.

"We are grateful to the King and the Saudi government," said Ahmad.

The twins' father, Rosli Abdul Rahim, 44, said the Saudi king's death had come as a shock, adding that the twins were not told of the news until they returned from school.

"He was a kind man who had given a lot of help to our family. We held a Yassin for him," he told mStar Online here yesterday.

Thirteen years ago, King Abdullah had sponsored the RM1.7mil required for the operation to separate the boys, who were then four years old.

Ahmad and Muhammad had undergone the major operation on Sept 17, 2002, at the King Fahad National Guard Hospital in Riyadh.

The operation took 22 hours and 45 minutes, and was led by Dr Abdullah Abdulaziz Al-Rabeeah, who is now the country's health minister.

After the operation, King Abdullah also arranged for the boys to receive prosthetic legs.

Ahmad and Muhammad were not the first pair of twins to benefit from King Abdullah's generosity as the late monarch had also sponsored other twins in need, regardless of race and religion.

The twins last met King Abdullah in 2007 when they, along with other Siamese twins whose operations were sponsored by him, were invited to his palace.

"It was an event to gather all the Siamese twins who have successfully undergone operations to separate them.

"We were taken to the king's palace. He was a kind and humble man," said Rosli, who was in Saudi Arabia for three months in 2007 with the twins and his late wife, Asiah Kanda.

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