Grieving widow of ex-chief photographer grateful for timely aid


KUALA LANGAT: When Abdullah Subir died suddenly on May 17, finding out about the Social Security Organisation’s (Socso) payouts for his next of kin was the last thing on his family members’ minds.

Abdullah, who retired as Star Media Group Bhd’s chief photographer in 2020, had been receiving invalidity pension from Socso upon his retirement.

Abdullah, 59, who succumbed to a heart attack, is survived by wife Ratnasari Mohammad, 50, and three children, Adibah, 25, Aqilah, 23, and Dhani Hakim, 16.

Luckily for them, Socso officers immediately contacted the family after reading about Abdullah’s demise in The Star.

“We are thankful that Socso came looking for us soon after our bereavement.

Trying times: Mohanadas (second from left) handing over a cheque to Abdullah’s wife Ratnasari (centre) and children Dhani Hakim (third from left), Adibah (third from right) and Aqilah (second from right) at Kg Medan in Telok Panglima Garang. Looking on are Socso Caring Squad officer Noorlisharini Ismail (left) and Caring Squad head Ismail (right). Below: Abdullah. — KK SHAM/The StarTrying times: Mohanadas (second from left) handing over a cheque to Abdullah’s wife Ratnasari (centre) and children Dhani Hakim (third from left), Adibah (third from right) and Aqilah (second from right) at Kg Medan in Telok Panglima Garang. Looking on are Socso Caring Squad officer Noorlisharini Ismail (left) and Caring Squad head Ismail (right). Below: Abdullah. — KK SHAM/The Star

“We had not even found out about how to go about it when Socso contacted us,” said Ratnasari.

Socso’s Caring Squad and Synergy Division head Ismail Abi Hashim and its Klang branch manager V. Mohanadas visited Abdullah’s family to hand over a RM2,000 cheque as reimbursement for burial expenses.

Mohanadas said that in addition to receiving a monthly invalidity pension, Socso had also been paying for Abdullah’s dialysis treatment for the last two years.

“When we were informed of Abdullah’s demise by our Caring Squad, we immediately did the necessary arrangements.

ALSO READ: Former Star chief photographer Abdullah Subir passes away

“His next of kin will now receive his invalidity pension,” said Mohanadas.

Meanwhile, Ismail said his division’s scope of duty was to scan the media for developments so that they could respond proactively to their contributor’s situation, including deaths.

“We set out to help them immediately instead of waiting for the families to come to us. We then inform the families of what they would be receiving from Socso,” he said.

He said Socso understands that family members would find it difficult to look into matters such as social security benefits while they are grieving.

Ismail said Socso also established networks with community leaders, elected representatives and village heads to reach out to families of Socso members who passed away to render help as soon as possible.

He said that besides the surviving spouse, children under the age of 21 would also be receiving monthly payments after the demise of a Socso contributor.

“Socso will also pay for the education of the underage child until he completes his undergraduate studies,” said Ismail.

Both Ratnasari and Dhani Hakim will be Abdullah’s beneficiaries for Socso’s monthly pension payment.

Abdullah joined The Star in 1982 as a photographer (grade three) before rising to be chief photographer in 2009.

Prior to that, he was a photographer with the now defunct National Echo.

One of Abdullah’s most memorable shots was the one taken of soldier Prebet Adam Jaafar during his armed rampage in Chow Kit, Kuala Lumpur, in October 1987.

Abdullah’s iconic image of Adam was taken at about 1.30pm on Oct 19, some two hours before he surrendered.

The photo, which captured the drama that transfixed the nation, made it to the front page of The Star the next day.

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