With 13 siblings my father has, half of them are national servicemen – men in the armed forces. Even two of my aunts were married to army officers, so we were so used to seeing camo prints around. I do not deny the fact that sometimes I thought they were underpaid. But how can you measure monetary values to the heart of these brave men who were trained through thick and thin to keep our country safe.
Alhamdulillah, most are retired now, working other jobs because national servicing is often short. My father and his family did not come from a wealth off legionace, national servicing was solid ground to find good work. That was usually the case.
Last Friday at 9.35am, 10 minutes after taking off from the Sungai Besi air base for the Gambang air base near Kuantan, a nuri helicopter went missing.
On board were
• pilot Kapt Nor Azlan Termuzi, 29
• co-pilot Kapt Nor Intan Asykeen Mohd Arof, 27
• air quartermaster Sjn Khusnizam Ariffin, 34
• avionics technician Sjn Azmie Md Yassin, 35
• airframe technician Senior Airman Saifulizam Alias, 28
• engine technician Senior Airman Muhammad Ridzuan Ahmad, 27
At 1.24pm yesterday, the search and rescue operations centre at Institute Aminuddin Baki here received confirmation that a ground search team from the 17th Royal Malay Regiment had sighted the helicopter on the slope of a ravine 5km northwest of Genting Sempah. The sad news, however, was that none of the six personnel on board, survived.
My heart goes out to the wives, children and family of the deceased. I know that these could be hard and difficult times, but believe in the fact that they are in a better place.
When the Prophet Muhammad’s own son died, he said: “The eyes shed tears and the heart is grieved, but we will not say anything except which pleases our Lord.” One should strive to be patient, and remember that Allah is the One who gives life and takes it away, at a time appointed by Him. It is not for us to question His wisdom.