SUBANG JAYA: Outside the Subang Jaya Fire and Rescue Station in SS17, the Fire and Rescue Department’s flag flew at half-mast as a mark of respect for the late Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim.
The 24-year-old passed away on Monday, after nearly a month fighting for his life after he was attacked during a riot at the Seafield Sri Mariamman Temple.
Mohd Khairul Hafizh Mansor, who was Muhammad Adib’s senior in the department’s Emergency Medical Rescue Services (EMRS) unit, said in his six years they took on every type of operation which had its risks but no one ever expected safety risks to come from the very people they were sworn to protect.
“We’re trained for different firefighting and rescue scenarios for over four months at the academy. We are trained to assess the risks before going in, we have our personal protective equipment,” he said.
Syafiq Mohd Shukri, another EMRS unit member, said even in scenarios such as one devastating incident two months ago where six firefighters from the Water Rescue Unit drowned during a search-and-rescue operation, the men had gone in qualified and with the necessary gear.
“But sometimes things can suddenly go out of control, so you can prepare and have the standard operating procedures in place, but everything outside that, it’s takdir (fate) determined by the one up there,” Syafiq said.
Mohd Khairul and Syafiq were some of the Fire and Rescue personnel who stayed behind to man the station while Muhammad Adib’s teammates, those whom he served with every shift, made the trip to Kedah to pay their final farewell.
“If you ask me now whether I hold vengeance in my heart or if I’m angry, I would say no, I’m just really sad he’s not with us anymore,” Mohd Khairul said.
Syafiq added that it was not right to condemn the entire Malaysian Indian community in the wake of Muhammad Adib’s death, which was classified as murder on Monday.
“No one is perfect and you cannot judge an entire community for the actions of a few.
“And calling for vengeance, or wanting to hurt other people for what happened to Adib, you end up with Malays whacking Indians, Indians whacking back Malays, it will never end,” Syafiq said.
At this point, he said, all of Muhammad Adib’s colleagues wanted was just justice.
“We’re still a nation with laws, so we’re just hoping that the people who attacked Adib are brought to court and face justice. That’s all we ask,” Syafiq said.
Muhammad Adib’s former housemate, Muhamad Ikhwan Che Mohd Daroh, remembered the late firefighter as a kind and considerate person.
“When we were staying in the same place, if he was going out to tapau something, he’d ask everyone if they wanted anything as well,” he said.
Muhamad Ikhwan said Muhammad Adib had a shy personality but would often joke with him.
“It’s very hard to see Adib smile actually, so that’s something I’ll treasure the most,” he said.
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