KUCHING: The family of the sole Sarawakian onboard hijacked oil tanker has spoken out for the first time publicly on the ordeal.
In a short statement posted on Facebook, Akihito Nawawi, father to crew member Mohd Nur Firdaus Nawawi Akihito, thanked the public for their support. The family has so far not accepted interviews.
“Thank you all for your concern and prayers for our family, relatives and friends on the great distress we are feeling now,” wrote Akihito in a post that has been widely shared, “liked” and commented on.
“My child, Mohd Firdaus, along with 22 crew members of Orkim Harmony, has yet to be found. God willing, I hope all are safe and will be reunited with their families soon. We all miss you young boy.”
Several family photographs, all in black and white, accompanied the post.
Nur Firdaus, 24, was among 16 other Malaysians, five Indonesians and one Myanmar national onboard the 7,300 deadweight tonne Orkim Harmony was hijacked on June 11, about 30 nautical miles from the Johor port of Tanjung Sedili.
The ship was carrying the equivalent of 50,000 barrels of RON95 petrol.
Nur Firdaus had just graduated and began working this year. Akihito, who is with the state Education Ministry, and his family are residents of Matang Jaya, near the city centre.
The Star contacted Akihito this week but was told by the father he preferred not give interviews until after the ordeal was over. Bernama quoted Akihito as saying the same. “I have to apologise, I cannot make any further statement. The company has advised me not to.”