Atomic bomb victim hates talk of war


  • Nation
  • Saturday, 06 Aug 2005

KUALA LUMPUR: The bombings in Iraq and the recent blasts in London and Egypt brought back horrors of the Hiroshima atomic holocaust to sole Malaysian survivor Datuk Abdul Razak Abdul Hamid. 

“Why do people have to resort to war? Isn't there any humanitarian way to resolve problems?” he asked. 

Six decades on, Abdul Razak, who is a hibakusha (survivor of the atomic bomb), said the images of victims suffering from radiation exposure were still clear in his mind.  

“I don't have nightmares but I hate it when someone mentions war. I hate it as I have seen the effects of war,” he said in an interview here yesterday.  

“I remember vividly one of my friends from China with the skin on his back coming off and crying in pain. It was so sad.” 

Abdul Razak, who teaches Japanese at the Agriculture and Engineering Training Centre in Serdang, said: “The nuclear or atomic bomb is a weapon to kill people in a cruel manner and those who survive will suffer from gruesome injuries.” 

Recalling the day when the atomic bomb fell on Aug 6, 1945, Abdul Razak, who was then at the Hiroshima University on a Japanese Government scholarship, said he was in his Mathematics class when he heard a siren alerting about a possible enemy attack. 

“It has been 60 years now but I still remember that day clearly when my class had to stop and go hide in a hole. 

“A few minutes later, thinking that everything had gone back to normal, we went back to class. Suddenly, we heard a loud booming sound. 

HIS STORY: Abdul Razak showing pictures of victims of the Hiroshima bombing at his home inKuala Lumpur yesterday.

“We quickly hid in the hole again and when I crawled out later blood was oozing from my head as I had hit a plank. 

“When I stepped outside, I was shocked! Everything was destroyed except for concrete buildings,” he said, adding that the university was about 1.5km from where the bombs were dropped.  

Abdul Razak, 80, said his professor then told the students to go back to their hostels, which were nearby. 

The way back was tough as everything was in ruins, he said.  

He then saw flames spreading to the houses and people running towards a river.  

They waited by the river until a Red Cross team came with food, drinks and medicine the following day.  

Later, they were brought to Tokyo. 

“I still remember someone shouting mizukudasai, (give me water). The person who was given the water died and we found out later that it was contaminated with radiation,” he said adding that it was also heartbreaking to see parents searching for missing children.  

Abdul Razak said he had to go for medical checkups for a month in Hiroshima and Tokyo. 

Five years after the bombing, he found out he was free of radiation exposure.  

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