Parents of religious school fire victims in tears hours after saying goodbye

Parents of religious school fire victims in tears hours after saying goodbye
PHOTO: The Star/Asia News Network

KUALA LUMPUR - "See you again on Friday," 11-year-old Amiel Ashraaf Abd Rashid cheerfully told his mother at the end of her visit to the school.

That Friday would never come for Noorhayati Khalid, 42.

Less than 24 hours after their last meeting, she was at the mortuary for a disaster victim identification of her youngest son.

When Noorhayati met Amiel Ashraaf on Wednesday evening, he also handed her a handwritten letter, the first time he had ever done so.

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Little did she know that it would be his farewell note.

"I hugged him ... kissed him, and then he gave me a letter.

"He said he loved us and asked for our forgiveness for things he did wrong.

"He told me that he would conduct the solat hajat every night ... so that we are always healthy," said Noorhayati between sobs.

She added that he would also conduct solat hajat every night to pray that she and her husband were always in good health.

"Mum and Dad, forgive me if I have done anything wrong. Amiel loves you both very much. Thank you for taking care of me all this while.

"I don't know how to repay you both and the only way for me to do so is by studying in the tahfiz to help both of you enter paradise," he wrote on a page torn from his exercise book.

While wiping her tears with her shawl, Noorhayati said she did not expect that their lakeside dinner - Amiel Ashraaf's favourite Pattaya fried rice and iced tea - in Taman Datuk Keramat nearby would be their last meal together.

Nik Azlan Nik Abdul Kadir was another parent who met his 12-year-old son on Wednesday night.

Some eight hours after the meeting, the father received the devastating news - his son, Nik Mohd Ridzuan, 12, had died in the morning blaze.

"We met at 10pm on Wednesday. He was very jovial and cheerful.

24 people, mostly teen boys, killed in KL religious school fire

"I gave him two jubah (robes) and serban (turban) for him to attend a prayer session.

"I also brought food for him and his friends and other essential items.

He said he planned to bury his son at the Ampang Muslim cemetery, next to his sister's grave.

Nik Azlan's daughter died two years ago.

The father said his son had attended the religious school for a year.

"My younger son was also supposed to attend the school two weeks ago but he refused to.

"Now I am glad.

"Otherwise, I may have lost him in the fire, too."

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