Hawari’s family hopes search and rescue ops will continue for missing Everest climber

KEPALA BATAS: Muhammad Hawari Hashim's family has expressed hope that the search and rescue (SAR) operation to locate the missing Mount Everest climber will be continued.

Despite today being announced as the last day for the SAR operation, his mother, Che Tom Hassan, 64, still hoped that the government will resume the efforts to locate her hearing-impaired son, who has been missing since May 19.

"Hawari is a very happy and loving person. Everyone feels easy around him in this village. I have tried to contact him ever since he went missing.

“Every night I pray for his return. I recite Surah Yasin for him, but still there are no signs,” she told reporters after the visit by Member of Parliament of Tasek Gelugor, Datuk Wan Saiful Wan Jan, here today (May 28).

Che Tom added that Hawari's wife, Saffiyah Tang Xie Li, 34, and the couple’s children, Hana Sakeena Muhammad Hawari Hashim, four, and Haris Sufyan Muhammad, one, are emotionally affected and are longing to hear about 33-year-old Hawari's whereabouts.

She said Hawari’s daughter, Hana Sakeena, drew a portrait of her family on the mountains to indicate that her father had reached the peak.

"Every night, before Hana Sakeena sleeps, she will question her mother about her father's return. She is waiting to pick up her father from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).

"The children have been asking a lot about their missing father. We, as a family, hope that the SAR will be continued,” she said.

Saffiyah said that she last knew of her husband's whereabouts through updates on social media.

"I last saw his updates on social media on May 15. He was on Mount Everest with the flag.

“I really hope to hear from him soon. We truly miss his presence here,” said Saffiyah, who is mute, via sign language, translated by Hawari’s cousin, Muhd Danish Danial Muhd Hafizul, 17.

On May 19, Hawari, one of the participants of the Malaysia Everest 2023 (ME2023) mission, was reported missing in the mountainous area, when descending from Camp Four after conquering the world's highest peak.

On the same day, Malaysian Civil Defence Force (APM) Kedah director, Lt Col Awang Askandar Ampuan Yaacub, 56, another participant in the mission, was confirmed dead after falling while climbing to the peak of Mount Everest.

ME2023, organised by Kelab Eksplorasi Altitud, and led by former 2016 Everest climber, Azim Afif Ishak, started the mission to conquer the world's highest peak on April 2.

The expedition is due to conclude on June 2, and has the support of the government and the Youth and Sports Ministry. - Bernama

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