SANDAKAN: Malaysian hostage Jari Abdullah was laid to rest at the Kampung Sim-Sim Muslim cemetery here on Friday (April 12).
He died a few days after escaping his Abu Sayyaf captors in the southern Philippines
Jari's remains arrived at the Sandakan airport from southern Philippines at about 7.45am. He was buried at around 9.35am after a funeral prayer was conducted at Surau Al-Furqan Kampung Sim Sim.
The 34-year-old fisherman leaves behind his wife Nadin Junianti Najiri and three children.
Nadin, 25, said her husband had already passed away by the time she arrived at West Metro Medical Centre, Zamboanga City, Mindanao.
Doctors had removed Jari's life support on Tuesday (April 9), with the consent of his mother Zuana Laudioto who arrived at his bedside the night before.
"Hospital officials told me that Jari had no chance of surviving," Nadin related, while adding that she could still remember the panic that her family felt after finding out about Jari's abduction last December.
Jari's mother Zuana, 54, said although she has accepted his death, she could not contain her sadness witnessing her son drawing his final breath.
"What mother would not feel sad seeing her own son in such a condition? I was devastated to see him like that but I have resigned to God's plans," she said.
Zuana described Jari as an 'average Joe' who often lost his temper, but only for good reasons.
Also present at the funeral was Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister's Department Arifin Asgali, representing Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.
Jari suffered gunshot wounds to his head, chest and groin as he escaped from his kidnappers during gunfight with Philippine marines at Simusa Island in Sulu on Thursday (April 4).
Philippine troops pursuing the gunmen managed to rescue him and took him to a hospital in Jolo before he was airlifted to Zamboanga City, where he remained critical and never regained consciousness.
Jari and two other Indonesians were abducted from their Sandakan-based fishing trawler while fishing in the Pegasus Reef area in Kinabatangan waters close to the Tawi Tawi island chain of the southern Philippines on Dec 5.
On Friday (April 5), a day after Jari's escape, 45-year-old Indonesian Heri Ardiansyah was rescued from the sea near Simusa Island
However, a third hostage - 19-year-old Hariadin - drowned and his body was recovered by Philippine marines pursuing the Abu Sayyaf gunmen.
The Indonesian duo tried to swim out of Simusa Island, but Hariadin could not make it amidst an all-out Philippine assault against the militants that surrounded the mangrove in Simusa Island close to their stronghold in Jolo Island.
Jari is the third Malaysian hostage held in Jolo to die. Tung Wee Wei from Negri Sembilan died of sickness in 2013 and the Abu Sayyaf beheaded Bernard Then from Sarawak in 2015.