SANDAKAN: Malaysian hostage Jari Abdullah, who died a few days after escaping from the Abu Sayyaf in southern Philippines, was laid to rest at the Kampung Sim-Sim Muslim cemetery here.
Jari’s remains arrived at the Sandakan airport from southern Philippines at about 7.45am yesterday. He was buried at 9.35am after prayers were 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 switched off Jari’s life support on Tuesday, 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 said, 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 accepted his death, she was grief-stricken seeing her son draw his final breath.
“What mother would not feel sad seeing her son in such a condition? It was very painful but I am resigned to God’s plans,” she said.
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 a gunfight with Philippine marines at Simusa Island in Sulu on 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 southern Philippines on Dec 5.
A day after Jari’s escape, another victim, Indonesian Heri Ardiansyah, 45, was rescued from the sea waters near Simusa Island, but a third hostage, Hariadin, 19, drowned and his body was recovered by Philippine marines pursuing the Abu Sayyaf gunmen.
The Indonesians tried to swim out of the Simusa Island, but Hariadin could not make it amid an all-out Philippine assault against the militants.
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.