By MEERA MURUGESAN and SUSHMA VEERA
KUALA LUMPUR: As the year draws to an end, Weekend Mail takes a look at the people, whose stories, both tragic and inspiring, have graced our pages throughout the year.
From having to cope with the loss of loved ones to having the courage and determination to help the less fortunate, their stories have touched many.
Weekend Mail spoke to them about moving forward and their hopes and wishes for the com ing year.
Jazimin Abdul Jalil, 33, whose eight-year-old daugh ter Nurin Jazlin was raped and killed. Her body was found in a sports bag under the stair case of a shoplot in Petaling Jaya Utama on Sept 17. She went missing after visiting a night market near her home on Aug 20. The Year Two pupil of SK Desa Setapak was beaten and sexually assaulted.
“I only have one wish for the coming year: that the culprit who raped and killed Nurin be caught.
“It is agonising to wait for developments on the case. We pray and hope that whoever committed the cruel crime will be nabbed and charged in court.
“Bringing them to the court is not enough. We hope that the police will have enough evid ence to convict them. It is pointless to charge someone only to have them acquitted or released due to lack of evidence.
“We are doing fine now and are trying our best to get on with our lives. The other girls also miss Nurin very much, and are saddened over what had happened.
“We hope that justice will prevail.”
Khairul Anuar, a 31-year-old bachelor who has dedicated his life to underprivileged and orphaned children. He is one of the founders of Pusat Jagaan Anak Anak Yatim Dan Miskin Nurul Iman, a sanctu ary in Kampung Manjoi, Ipoh, for orphaned or underpriv ileged children.
“I hope I will continue to have the strength and motiv ation to carry on with the work I am doing for these children.
“As I’ve said before, they are like family to me and I want them to have the best. Thank fully, through donations from kind-hearted individuals and or ganisations and after our plight was highlighted by Weekend Mail, we managed to collect and settle RM100,000 for the RM135,000 piece of land that we have bought to build a new orphanage with better facilities for the children.
“I am confident that in about two years, we would have built a new building on that land and the children will finally have a permanent home instead of having to move from one place to another.
“In the coming year, I also hope that all 29 children at Nurul Iman continue to do well in their studies and that the public will help us in giving tu ition for the children or help subsidise the tuition bills.
“Education is the only way for these children to overcome their sad start in life and I’m going to make sure they get all the at tention they need.”
S. Sarawanan, whose brother Murali, an engineer and father of two, drowned during a fam ily outing to Tanjung Rhu, Langkawi, on April 28. Murali’s wife, S. Parimalam, and Sarawanan himself nearly drowned as well.
“My family is coping better. But of course, nothing can take away the pain and loss we suffered after my brother’s death.
“My sister-in-law is still living in Malacca with my parents and she is doing much better now. She will be starting work again come January.
“My parents have also slowly come to terms with the loss and the fact that my brother’s two young boys have been with them has made a difference.
Obviously, the grandchildren have helped to heal the wounds.
“The elder boy will be starting kindergarten soon and we will also be celebrating his birthday on Jan 1, so we have something to look forward to this coming year.
“But I hope, given my brother’s death, people will never take their safety for granted in places like swimming pools or beaches and the authorities will also look more seriously into implement ing safety measures in such places.”
Catriona Piruz, 26, whose three-year-old daughter Elissa was allegedly taken away from her in July 2005. She had ac companied her husband, Aoun Riad Dbouk, to Lebanon two years after their marriage to visit her Lebanese in-laws. Ca triona was still breast-feeding the child then.
“My only wish for the coming year is to be able to see my daughter again. I am not asking for more. All I want is to meet Elissa. I last saw her in 2006.
“I spoke to her over the phone last week but I don’t know if she remembers me. I know basic Ar abic and tried to communicate with Elissa with the little know ledge that I have. But I think she does not understand what is happening.
“I am not allowed to go to Lebanon. There seems to be a dead end at very turn we take. I don’t know how, but I really hope to see my little girl this coming year.”
- Weekend Mail