Tragedies hit four families

TEMERLOH, Malaysia - AS Muslims start preparing for Hari Raya Adilfitri, which is less than two weeks away, several families were forced to deal with the death of their loved ones yesterday.

TV3 chief news editor Mohd Khaidir Ahmad yesterday buried his son Muhammad Luqman, 27, who was killed in Kuantan on Friday night when an oncoming vehicle rammed into the car he was travelling in with two friends.

Luqman, who was seated in the front passenger's seat, died of head injuries.

Police said initial investigations showed that car driver Mohd Hafizi Miharudin lost control of his Proton Wira while attempting to overtake another vehicle.

Accepting Luqman's death as God's will, Khaidir remembers his son, the second of six siblings, as respectful to his elders and a friendly soul.

Luqman was buried at the Kampung Tebing Tinggi Muslim cemetery at 9.30am yesterday.

In Pokok Sena, the last words Mohamad Abdullah, 50, heard from his 15-year-old son were those asking for his forgiveness and blessings.

Fatullah Mohamad then left for a bookstore in Alor Star.

The Form Three student, slated to be one of his school's top Penilaian Menengah Rendah student, was on his way home in Kampung Padang when his motorcycle crashed into another motorcycle.

Both machines burst into flames at the junction of Pokok Sena Prison at 10pm on Friday night.

He died on the spot as his family was at a tahlil, reciting prayers at a nearby mosque for his late mother, who died of cancer five months ago.

Fatullah's aunt, Fathiyah Abdullah, 35, who looked after him since his mother became bedridden in April, said she was struggling to come to terms with her nephew's death.

"He was a quiet boy who kept to himself. He became even more reserved after his mother's passing and would express his feelings through his Facebook postings," she said after the funeral at Kampung Padang yesterday.

Fathiyah said Fathullah had talked about his mother and even mentioned "joining her real soon".

"It never crossed my mind that he would leave us five months after his mother's death."

Kota Star police headquarters Traffic Investigation Division officer T. Tivagaren said Fatullah was believed to have lost control of his motorcycle after changing lanes and it crashed into the other motorcyclist.

The other motorcyclist, Rizal Abdullah, 34, an army personnel was critically injured and had been warded at Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital.

In Kangar, the hopes of Nasirah Ahmad, 23, that her husband would survive an accident at his workplace, were dashed.

Nasirah, who was told that the man she married two years ago was trapped underneath a collapsed concrete wall, rushed to the training hall of the Giat Mara Arau building, which was being renovated, praying that they could celebrate Hari Raya together even if it was at the hospital.

She was not prepared for the sight of her husband's lifeless body under the rubble and passed out. She was carried from the scene by her relatives.

Zaki Ibrahim, who was from Alor Star, was working alone, tearing down parts of the hall when a wall collapsed, bringing down with it the ceiling which crushed and trapped him.

He was killed on the spot from head injuries.

His colleague who had just returned from his break half an hour later contacted the Kangar Fire and Rescue Department. They found Zaki's body underneath the rubble.

Department senior officer II Mohd Subri Ahmad said eight personnel arrived at the scene 15 minutes later. They had to check the stability of the building's structure before entering the hall.

It took them 10 minutes to extricate the body.

He said the department had begun its investigation to determine the cause of the incident.

In Sandakan, Bernama reported that a woman and two girls were burnt to death in a fire in Kampung Muhibbah.

Firemen found the charred bodies of Juliana Sikin, 24, who was a disabled, along with her sister Kamisah, 17, and their niece Nurnilam Sari, 6, in the debris of their house that was destroyed in the 5.40am blaze.

The bodies of Juliana and Kamisah were found in an embrace in the bathroom.

Their bodies were sent to Duchess of Kent Hospital.

District Fire and Rescue Department chief of operations Johny Yap said the department responded to a call at 5.40am and rushed 16 firemen in two trucks and two multi-purpose vehicles to the village.

By the time the firemen arrived at the scene, the house was engulfed by the fire, which also damaged an adjacent one, he added.

Hawa Semang, 57, who lives next door, said his family had just taken sahur (pre-dawn meal) when the incident happened.