PUTRAJAYA: For Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin, her recent visits to the Fire and Rescue Department headquarters have not been for happy occasions.
Her presence there was for solemn events following tragedies that befell its members.
In October, she was there to present financial contributions to the families of six firemen who had drowned while searching for a teenager in Taman Putra Perdana, Puchong.
Yesterday, Zuraida experienced another poignant moment when she handed over aid to the next of kin of fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim.
“This is the second time I am in this hall with all of you and unfortunately, both visits are under tragic circumstances.
“Despite what has happened to your colleagues, don’t be afraid to serve. This is your calling.
“Never forget that you are heroes of this nation,” she said as she presented financial aid totalling RM298,755 to Muhammad Adib’s parents Mohd Kassim Abdul Halim and Asma Abdul Aziz.
The amount included RM10,000 from Eco World Foundation, a contribution its chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said was in appreciation of Muhammad Adib’s sacrifices and to help ease his family’s burden.
A donation also came from the Association of NextGen Christians of Malaysia, whose adviser Jason Leong said: “We consider it our privilege to honour our firefighters and the fallen heroes who gave their lives while carrying out their duties.
“We sent our prayers and deepest condolences to his family, fellow firefighters and loved ones as we mourn the loss of a hero, Muhammad Adib.”
Muhammad Adib, 24, of the Subang Jaya fire and rescue station, was a victim of the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman Temple riot over the relocation of the temple.
He died at the National Heart Institute on Dec 17.
His case has since been reclassified as murder.
Zuraida also called on the public to respect uniformed personnel whose duty was to serve and protect them as well as the nation.
“These are the people we turn to in times of trouble. We should respect them and their job.
“In whatever circumstances, uniformed personnel must not be harmed or bullied,” she said.
Meanwhile, the case management on the inquest to determine the cause of Muhammad Adib’s death has been fixed on Jan 18, Solicitor-General III Datuk Mohd Hanafiah Zakaria told Bernama when contacted yesterday.
The inquest proceedings will be held at the Coroner’s Court that will sit at the Shah Alam Court Complex, he said.
On Thursday, Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced that the Attorney General would be ordering an inquest to determine the firefighter’s death after a post-mortem uncovered a “few clues”.