PETALING JAYA: On any ordinary night, Sarah Choong would be in the London Bridge area because her hostel is just nearby.
The 25-year-old Malaysian student thanked her lucky stars that she decided to meet up with her family in Stockwell, about 30 minutes away from where the attackers struck on Saturday night.
“I would very likely have been walking in the area if my family had not been in town.
“My hostel is close to the scene,” said Choong, a Master’s student in international relations at King’s College London.
Choong said although she was not in central London, she could hear the ambulances, police sirens and helicopters rushing to the scene.
She added that in the face of terror, the people of London showed great strength and solidarity, with many offering shelter, food and clothing to the victims.
T. Krishnan, a Malaysian working in London, was in a different part of the city during the incident.
“I was not affected, but it was still scary to hear what happened.
“To know that it was in the city and I could have been there is terrifying,” he said.
Cynthia Ko, 23, who was sightseeing in London with her younger sister, said they stayed put in their hotel room after the attack.
The industrial design engineering student at Delft Technological University in the Netherlands said she only found out about the attack when her family back home contacted her.
Her hotel was three rail stops from the site.
“I’m heading back to the Netherlands tonight, so I have only a few hours left in London. I think it’s best to avoid tourist attractions and crowded places,” she said.
Umno Overseas Students Bureau chairman Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican urged Malaysian students in Britain to remain vigilant and cooperate with local authorities.
“In these trying times, it is important for all of us to demonstrate solidarity and stand united in the face of the scourge of terrorism.
“Malaysia and the United Kingdom stand together in this regard, and we will continue to cooperate closely on combating violent extremism,” he said in a statement.
Reezal Merican, who is also Deputy Foreign Minister, said no Malaysians were caught up in the incident so far.
He added that there are about 60,000 Malaysians in Britain, including 17,227 students.