Son of slain Customs officer misses mother even more on Aidiladha

Nor Fazlina Abdul Rahim

KOTA BARU: ‘’It’s Aidiladha today and I’m missing my mother more than ever. Since her death two years ago, festivities are the times when I miss her the most. But I can only express my emotions at her grave. “Aidiladha is not the same without her beef soup and turmeric rice (nasi kuning), like the many years before the horrific accident,” said Afiq Luqman Mohd Baharudin, 24, son of the deceased Royal Malaysian Customs Department officer Anisah Ali, who died two years ago at the age of 54. Afiq said he would normally visit his beloved mother’s grave site on Aidiladha morning to recite prayers and Yasin, but he couldn’t make it today due to work. “Since her passing, I’ve always welcomed Aidiladha or Aidilfitri by ‘visiting’ her first. Prior to the accident, I used to look forward to my mother’s amazing festive, traditional dishes (especially turmeric rice) but all that has been snatched away from me; the festive mood is gone,” he said when contacted by the New Straits Times Press today. The youngest of two siblings said although it has been two years, his longing for his mother remained strong, especially during a festive day. “Like everyone else, it is definitely a joyous moment to gather and enjoy today’s festivities (with family), but unfortunately, it’s just a distant memory to me,” he said. On Oct 7, 2016, Anisah was killed in a car chase with suspected smugglers at Kampung Banggol Chicha in Pasir Mas. She was one of three officers in a Customs patrol vehicle in hot pursuit of two vans suspected of being laden with smuggled cigarettes.

In mid-chase, a third car – a four wheel-drive driven by a “tonto” (informers providing tip-offs about the movement of enforcement agencies to illegal operators for a fee) working for the smugglers – appeared and violently rammed the Customs vehicle from the rear, causing it to skid and crash into a tree along the roadside. Anisah, who was seriously injured, was rushed to Raja Perempuan Zainab II (RPZII) hospital in Kota Baru, but succumbed to her injuries. The driver of the 4WD vehicle and the two vans managed to escape. Three years prior to Anisah’s death, her husband, Mohd Baharudin Hamid, had a brush with death when he was involved in a car crash involving tontos. Baharudin, also a Customs officer, said he and his colleagues were lucky to have escaped unhurt in the 2013 incident in Tanah Merah. “We were assisting another team from Bukit Bunga to nab firecracker smugglers and were engaged in a car chase with a lorry suspected to be transporting smuggled fireworks when suddenly, two cars, a Proton Wira and a Toyota Vios, appeared and tried to ram both sides of our car. “We were shocked because these tontos were crashing their vehicles into ours, trying to force us off a cliff. “Luckily, we had earlier called for back-up and the patrol unit arrived just in time. Otherwise, we might have been killed as well,” he was reported to have said. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd