KUALA LUMPUR, March 20 — Even though a decade has passed, the families of those slain during the Lahad Datu incursion still find it hard to come to terms with the loss they suffered.
Haziq Wahiduzzaman Sabaruddin, 29, the child of Sgt Sabaruddin Daud, who was killed by Sulu terrorists in the line of duty under Op Daulat in Lahad Datu, struggles to deal with his frustrations.
“When I was asked to stand in before some police personnel who were lying down in a reenactment, I could not look at them directly as images of my late father flashed before my eyes.
“I held back my tears but I miss him so much and I’m frustrated over the cruelty of the Sulu terrorists,” he told reporters when asked about the pantomime of the tragedy reenacted in conjunction with Police Day today.
The social media content creator shared that his father was a strict man who prioritised education and he always remembered his father’s last message to him and his siblings, which was to always study hard.
“Alhamdulillah, what my father wanted (for us to further our education) came true, yesterday my youngest sibling is now a university student.
“Growing up with my father, he was a stern but jovial man, that’s standard for all police (being stern) because the way he brought us up was really different,” Haziq Wahiduzzaman said as he attended the 216th Police Day celebrations at the Kuala Lumpur Police Training Centre here.
The eldest son of ASP Zulkifli Mamat, Mohd Norakmar Amiruddin Zulkifli, 15, meanwhile shared that he actually dreamt of being a doctor, but he changed his mind after what happened to his father, and decided then at the age of five to join the police force.
“I want to follow my father’s footsteps because I want to save good people like my father…and fight bad guys.
“I remembered my father, and I was sad and missed him when I watched the Lahad Datu pantomime,” he added.
Mohd Norakmar said that before his father was assigned to Op Daulat, he had asked him to look after his mother, Noor Aziah Noor, and his siblings Noor Muhammad Aqil Zulkifli, 11, and Noor Aqib Syahid Zulkifli, 10, who at that time was still in his mother’s womb.
Meanwhile, Noor Aziah, 38, said the pangs of sadness were still raw even though 10 years had passed.
“Seeing the pantomime, I feel proud because my late husband’s sacrifice is appreciated and not forgotten.
“InsyaAllah if it’s possible I will allow and support my son to carry on his father’s legacy,” the school teacher said.
The pantomime depicting the incursion of Kampung Tanduo in Lahad Datu, Sabah, was choreographed by Bukit Aman Internal Security and Public Order Department director Datuk Seri Hazani Ghazali, and made possible thanks to 86 officers and personnel of the 69 Commandos (VAT69), the Air Unit, the General Operations Force and the PDRM Museum.
In February 2013, Malaysians were shocked by an armed incursion by Sulu terrorists who entered via national waters in stages at Felda Sahabat, Lahad Datu, which led to a bloody battle on March 1 in Kampung Tanduo, where 10 Malaysian security personnel were killed, along with 68 Sulu terrorists.
The conflict was declared ended on April 10, 2013.