Hit-and-run suspect arrested, but victim's widow doesn't want to see his face

Madam Rohaya Zainal Abidin received donations of groceries and money after her story was reported in The New Paper yesterday.
PHOTO: The New Paper

He handed the family $500, offered his condolences and quickly left.

The father of three, who wanted to be known only as Mr Tabiin, later told The New Paper that he was moved after reading our report on the family of Mr Zulkefli Yusop, 47, a Singaporean motorcyclist who died in a hit-and-run accident in Johor Baru on June 5.

"When I read the report, I could empathise as a parent," said the chief development officer, 48.

"And I felt that I could do something about it and help the family with the little I can give."

Many others like him contacted TNP yesterday to find out how they could donate money and groceries to Mr Zulkefli's family.

News also broke yesterday of the arrest of the alleged hit-and-run driver.

The Johor Baru (South) traffic police chief, Deputy Superintendent (DSP) Wan Zulfikri Wan Othman, told Berita Harian that a 32-year-old man was arrested at 1am last Saturday at his Kota Tinggi home after a tip-off from the public.

The suspect is being held in remand pending investigations, he added.

If convicted of causing the fatal accident, he can be jailed from two to 10 years, and fined from RM5,000 (S$1,700) to RM20,000.

Mr Zulkefli's widow, Madam Rohaya Zainal Abidin, 44, told TNP that she was relieved to learn about the arrest.

But the part-time cashier added: "Nothing we do would bring my husband back.

"I don't want to see the face of the suspect. I don't want to feel even more pain."

She takes solace in the support of the public, many of whom had donated to her family.

"It has lightened my spirit and helped my kids to smile a little, and I would like to thank all of them for their help," she said.

"But I cannot repay your kindness, only God can."

Madam Rohaya, who started getting calls and donations from well-wishers from 9am, said the six bags of groceries she received in the morning would help feed her family for about four months.

The items included noodles, canned food, Hari Raya cookies and cooking oil.

When TNP visited their two-room flat in Marine Terrace yesterday, Madam Rohaya and her children were moving the groceries into their only bedroom.

The family sleeps on the living room floor.

A well-wisher has also set up a fund-raising page on GiveAsia for the family.

He could not be reached for comment but Madam Rohaya is aware of the page, which pledges to give all the money raised to her family.

CONTENT

As of 10pm yesterday, it had raised more than $15,000 from more than 150 donors.

Madam Rohaya also received about $1,000 yesterday.

Asked what she would do with the money, she said all of it will go to her children and their education.

"I don't need anything, I am content with a simple life. All I need is my family," she said.

"The money will be used for my children's necessities and education."

She will also go back to work after Hari Raya Puasa because she does not want her family to become dependent on others.

The family will not be celebrating Hari Raya Puasa on July 6 as "it will be a sombre occasion without my husband", she added.

"We will just have a small gathering with my mother coming over to cook."

davidsun@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on June 15, 2016.
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