IPOH: "I am proud of my son for being a soldier," veteran actor AR Badul said, his voice quivering as his eyes teared up.
Badul whose real name is Armaya Aman Ramlie said that he had never thought the Armed Forces would carry out such a beautiful funeral ceremony for his son, Major Mohd Zahir Armaya who was killed in a shooting demonstration at the Lok Kawi Camp in Kota Kinabalu yesterday.
"I am sad but at the same time I feel so grateful and would like to say thank you to the Armed Forces that have helped me to bury my son. They have been handling this since the incident started until my son’s body was laid to rest today.
"I feel proud of my son for being an army because of the commitment they show for their fellow comrades in any situation. If we were handling this funeral, it wouldn’t be this beautiful and perfect," he said when met at the Tambun Muslim Cemetery, here, this morning.
The body of Mohd Zahir was laid to rest at the cemetery at 8.45am with over 1,000 family members, relatives, friends and members of the public in attendance since 7am.
Badul also thanked the family of his daughter-in-law Nourshafinar Harun. He said the initial plan was to bury Mohd Zahir in Kuala Lumpur.
"...I wanted the body to be buried in Kuala Lumpur but the wife, who is from Ipoh, requested for him to be buried here, while his mother wanted him to be buried in Sabah.
"However, I finally made a decision to have his body buried here as he will be 'close' to his wife and children.
"I would also like to extend my gratitude to the Armed Forces personnel who were involved in today’s funeral process," he said.
Badul also expressed his appreciation towards members of the media who have been waiting patiently since the incident occurred yesterday until the funeral process completed.
"I have seen a lot of media practitioners since yesterday until today. It shows that my son is greater than me. I have read some of the write-up and that makes me feel like my son is the most useful person (orang yang berguna) on earth.
"I would also like to extend my gratitude to the palace, state assemblymen and even Menteri Besar Perak who paid their last respects to my son despite their busy schedules. My son is totally more ‘well-known’ than me," he quipped.
Mohd Zahir, 36, died after he was believed to have been accidentally shot during the launch of the Malaysian Fifth Infantry Division and the 13th Malaysian Infantry Brigade exhibition at the Lok Kawi Camp yesterday.
The commander of the Special Operations Group 11 (11 GGK) died at 9.20am at the Queen Elizabeth 1 Hospital.
He leaves behind his wife, Nourshafinar, 31 and three children; a six-month-old baby boy with Nourshafinar and two from a previous marriage.