PETALING JAYA - Unlikely heroes emerge in the darkest times, and three Malaysians stranded in quake-hit Nepal are a testament to that.
Moved by the destruction around them, Muhammad Irwan Yusuf, Muhammad Aliff Abdullah and Harith Muhadzir chose to stay back to assist in crisis relief work, instead of returning with the 104 Malaysians on Wednesday on board the Royal Malaysian Air Force aircraft sent by the Government.
"It was terrible. The earthquake destroyed their homes. Now, we still see many sleeping in the streets," self-employed Muhammad Irwan, 35, told The Star.
The trio were part of a 13-member cycling team from Kelab Eksplorasi 7 Benua Malaysia (KE7B) who had arrived in Kathmandu last Saturday for a 10-day high-altitude cycling trip, just before the powerful magnitude-7.8 earthquake struck the South Asian nation. The trip was cancelled.
Muhammad Irwan said he, Muhammad Aliff, who works as a pharmacist at Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, and photographer Harith helped Mercy Malaysia set up a field hospital in Kathmandu.
Although not in the medical profession, Muhammad Irwan said he helped out in managing the crowd seeking aid at the facility.
"Most of them are in shock. They need someone to talk to.
"Seeing the suffering of other human beings, we are simply compelled to help as much as we can," he added.
The three volunteers will be returning to Malaysia when their visa expires next week.