JAKARTA, Indonesia (The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network): Global Peace Mission (GPM) Malaysia has said that it plans to name a disabled seven-year-old boy from Lombok Island, West Nusa Tenggara, a hero for helping foreign tourists evacuate from the area when an earthquake jolted the island recently.
Taufik, a deaf and mute boy from Senaru village in North Lombok, assisted Malaysian tourists to find a route out of Tiu Kelep Waterfall, when a 5.4-magnitude earthquake occurred and triggered landslides on last Sunday (March 17).
"Insya Allah we will name him … a symbol of heroism and bravery for saving their lives when they needed help the most," said GPM Malaysia chief operation officer Syahrir Azfar bin Saleh, as quoted by Antara on Thursday (March 21).
The earthquake caused landslides in the regency, killing at least two Malaysians and injuring more than 30, most of whom were foreign and domestic tourists.
Wong Siew Lim, a Malaysian who suffered minor injuries to her arm, said Taufik had helped her and other tourists evacuate from the area safely after the earthquake-triggered landslides occurred around the waterfall area when they were sightseeing.
"While he was being carried, Taufik assisted us by showing the way out from the location (of the waterfall)," she said, adding that she was very thankful to the boy.
Syahrir said the GPM was making efforts to gain support from Malaysia, so that the boy could be named a hero there. The boy's heroic tale would also be told to the royal family, he added.
"We also want to create a chance for him to live a normal life. Perhaps, we can take Taufik to Malaysia," he said, adding that the GPM would carry out efforts to provide him with any medical care he needs.
The organisation would also tell Malaysians not to be afraid to visit Lombok, Syahrir said. – The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network
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