Search for Muhammad Hawari to continue next year, says Mount Everest sherpa

GEORGE TOWN, Dec 15 (Bernama) -- Mount Everest sherpas will continue to search for the hearing-impaired Malaysia Everest 2023 climber, Muhammad Hawari Hashim, who has been missing since May 19, in the next climbing season.

Nivesh Karki, 35, said his company in Nepal has assured that they would continue the search, along with 20 other mountain guide companies, from April until May next year.

He said out of a sense of duty, he came to Malaysia to meet Muhammad Hawari’s mother, Che Tom Hassan, 64, adding that he wanted to fulfil the promise he made to her to find her son.

"We will continue the search for Muhammad Hawari because he was part of our family. For us, the search mission, although challenging, is not impossible because there are instances where bodies of climbers who had been missing since 1942 were found intact in 2019.

"We just need to look for any signs or traces left by the climber. Our company is also offering a reward to mountain guides who successfully locate Muhammad Hawari,” he told reporters here, on Friday (Dec 15).

Nivesh, the director of Pioneer Adventure and a freelance photographer, Bidhan Shrestha, were flown from Nepal by Muhammad Hawari’s employer, the Penang State Museum Board. The board hosted the Ascent: Journey with The Malaysian Everest Expedition 2023 programme at the State Art Gallery on Friday.

Also present were Che Tom and her family, including Muhammad Hawari’s wife Saffiyah Tang Xie Lie, 34; and children Hana Sakeena, 4 and Haris Sufian, 2

Nivesh and Bidhan, who were directly involved in the search mission, shared their experiences with the guests, which were translated to Malay by an interpreter and conveyed using sign language for Saffiyah and the children, who are also deaf.

Che Tom, who was seen crying throughout the video screening of her son’s Everest journey, expressed relief with Nivesh’s assurance.

"As a mother, I want to see my son’s remains because as long as I don’t see his body before me, I will continue to wonder about his whereabouts,” she said when met after the programme.

Che Tom said she would look at the orange jacket that Muhammad Hawari wore during the Everest expedition every day to cope with the feeling of longing for her son.

"The jacket was brought home from Nepal and Hawari’s wife hangs it at home. When I look at it, I feel as if I see Hawari wearing it,” she said.

Meanwhile, Saffiyah said she works as a part-time clerk at the Social Welfare Department in Seberang Perai Utara to support her family.

She said Hana Sakeena would cry every night as she missed her father and was confused as to why he was not home.

"It is time for us to move on with our life. We hope that his remains can be least when the body is found, she will know that her father has passed away,” she added.

Muhammad Hawari went missing after leaving the Fourth Camp at 8,000 metres above sea level. It was reported that a day before, he managed to conquer the world’s highest peak.

The search and rescue mission for Muhammad Hawari was forced to continue next year because the special search permit using drones and aerial search approved by Nepali authorities had expired. – Bernama

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