M'sians in London exercise caution after terrorist attack

NOORSILA ABD MAJID


PUTRAJAYA: As Londoners are reeling from the terrorist attack on Wednesday, Malaysians in the metropolitan city share their experiences as they try to stay positive during these trying times.

It is estimated some 3,000 Malaysians are studying and working in the British capital.

According to Syed Mohamed Arif Syed Abdul Rahim, a Malaysian student at University College London (UCL), the deadly attack might trigger the emergence of Islamophobia.

“We are just afraid that there might be the emergence of Islamophobia,” he said via a text message to NST Online.

“But all my British friends are saying ‘Syed, don’t be worried. You’re going to be fine. Just keep an eye out always.’”

Describing the situation as “under control”, he said that he honestly do not think the situation would be all that bad.

Sharing his concerns is fellow university mate, Aida Helena Affandi.

“I wasn’t anywhere near Westminster when the incident happened. I just remember hearing sirens all day but that’s typical of London.

“Just be extra vigilant and try to always keep a lookout for warning signs. Since I walk to the university, I made a point today (after the attack) not to listen to the music while walking. Also, try to stay out of crowded, touristy areas for now,” she advised.

As for a London-based PWC auditor, who wanted to be known only as King, the best way to stay safe at the moment is to be street-smart.

“Do not congregate in areas that are congested and avoid going to the busy tube stations. I would say people here have gone about life as usual. There’s nothing much you can do except to trust the authority.

“There’s obviously heightened security with more patrols and police sirens going about here and there. But the authorities are probably following protocols required to keep London safe,” said King, who also sang praises for the Londoners, whom he described as resilient.

Echoing the same sentiment, Malaysian student Thed Jin Hern said the attack has seen him spending more time at home after class.

“There’s nothing much we can do really. So I just minimise the chance of being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

“The public transportation was quite badly disrupted. People are still shocked. They will be extra cautious over the coming months.”

The graduate from London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) also expressed his hope that the Malaysian embassy in London would reach out to the Malaysian community and brief them on the necessary from time to time.

Five people were killed and about 40 injured in the attack which unfolded within sight of some of the city’s most famous tourist sites, including the London Eye.