Malaysiakini - 'She would be alive if they had helped'
A sad tale of tragic death, accusations of callous, apathetic and unhelpful rescue personnel, and looting of a damaged house in the Bukit Antarabangsa landslide.
In a frantic attempt to save his wife, a 31-year-old executive was forced to dig through the earth with his bare hands until his fingers bled.
He felt a sense of relief when rescue personnel arrived at the scene. But to his horror, they refused to help him, apart from throwing him a spade. […]
Naturally, the Selangor Police Chief Khalid Abu Bakar rejected the accusation, explaining that it might well be that some rescue personnel (those who were alleged to have thrown the spade to the frantic husband) were untrained and thus not allowed to conduct certain rescue operations.
He averred he found it hard to believe that rescue personnel would have acted in such a cold-hearted manner.
He said: "You don't expect an ambulance driver to save a buried victim. He is not trained, so if we request untrained personnel for help and they refuse, we shouldn't blame them.”
"This is because their lives are in danger too. I think we should respect their decision. To dig and save someone, one has to be trained. For an untrained person, it's a very dangerous task."
The father in law of the victim claimed that when he returned to the house on Sunday morning, he was shocked to discover several men in uniform lying on his bed, smoking and drinking his wine. He said he lost 80 bottles of expensive wine worth RM160,000 and six watches worth RM180,000.
He lamented despairingly: "One of them had even asked me whether I still wanted these things, if not I should give it to them. Later, my wife and I examined our safety box and found it opened. Several branded watches and jewellery were missing."
Just last night a sweetie and I were talking about how well our soldiers have responded to the emergency, perhaps even risking their lives in the rescue operations.
I am not in a position to verify the accusations of the victim’s family but those have left a sour taste in our mouths.
I hope the Selangor CPO will conduct a thorough inquiry – that’s all we can hope for. The police can’t bring back the dead but we hope they will at least bring closure for the victim’s family by a fair, frank and fearless investigation.