Nearly 500 turn up at cemetery to say goodbye to 2 SMRT staff

Nearly 500 turn up at cemetery to say goodbye to 2 SMRT staff
Relatives and friends gather to bid a final farewell to Mr Asyraf.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

The two SMRT staff killed by an oncoming train on Tuesday were laid to rest side by side at the Muslim cemetery in Lim Chu Kang yesterday.

Close to 500 relatives and friends turned up at the cemetery to bid a final farewell to Mr Nasrulhudin Najumudin, 26, and Mr Muhammad Asyraf Ahmad Buhari, 24.

Mr Asyraf's family, who were in Saudi Arabia on pilgrimage, rushed back after hearing the news.

"I wanted to see him before he was buried. Thank God, that was fulfilled," said Mr Ahmad Buhari, 61, Mr Asyraf's father.

The family landed in Singapore yesterday afternoon, and arrived in an SMRT taxi at a relative's home in Lengkong Empat where the funeral was held at 2.30pm.

Prayers were held at the condominium and a mosque before the burial. At the cemetery, Mr Ahmad told the media in Malay that someone initially told him it was his nephew who died, and that he only found out later it was his son.

When asked how he reacted to the news, he said: "I am a strong person. This is fate, what can I do? My missus on the spot pengsan (collapsed) at hotel."

He said the last message from his late son came last Friday, and it said "Goodbye papa".

He and his wife had gone for the pilgrimage with their other two children, but Mr Asyraf could not join them due to work.

Mr Ahmad described his son, who recently celebrated his 24th birthday, as quiet. He was surprised by the number of friends who attended his funeral.

More than 200 people had gathered at Lengkong Empat, spreading out onto a two-lane road and nearby grass patches.

Close to 150 well-wishers - including colleagues, close friends and relatives - gathered to pay their last respects at Mr Nasrulhudin's funeral in Tampines.

Many turned up as early as 9am, sharing fond memories of him. They said he had dreamt of joining the police force one day or furthering his studies in university. Among them was his cousin Khairul Yazid, 22, who grew up with him in Tampines.

"I looked up to him as an older brother," he said, adding that he had rushed home from his hostel in Nanyang Technological University after hearing about the accident.

Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim also visited Mr Nasrulhudin's family.

Referring to the two SMRT staff in a Facebook post last night, Dr Yaacob lamented that "their potential will never be known".

"They passed away with many questions remaining that must be answered! They must not have died in vain."

Speaking to the media after the burial yesterday evening, Mr Nasrulhudin's eldest brother, Mr Nasri, who is in his 30s, said: "We just pray for the best. We just have to wait for the full report."

After their sons' coffins were covered with earth, the two fathers thanked well-wishers, and embraced before they left for home.

This article was first published on March 24, 2016.
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