KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 18 — The Council of Churches of Malaysia joined thousands of Malaysians today in honouring fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim who died yesterday from severe injuries inflicted by a mob in a riot three weeks ago.
The umbrella body for Protestant churches in the country extended its condolences to the family of the 24-year-old whose life was snuffed out just days before his wedding that had been planned for this weekend.
“The late Muhammad Adib sacrificed his life in the line of duty. He should be honored and his life’s example should be an inspiration to all Malaysians to put others before self in the pursuit of peace and security of our nation.
“We pray that his family and relatives will have the support and strength in their difficult time of grief. Special prayers will be made in churches during worship services this Sunday,” general secretary Hermen Shastri said in a statement.
On behalf of the church group, he urged Malaysians to remain calm and let the due process of law play out.
The Association of NextGen Christians of Malaysia said it will present a small donation to Adib’s family through the Fire and Rescue Services Department as their way of honouring the late firefighter.
“Structures can be rebuilt, but the loss of a loved one is irreplaceable. We are profoundly grateful and thank the fire department for their bravery and dedication in the performance of their duties,” its president Joshua Hong said in a separate statement.
A coalition of civil societies Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia added to the growing calls for calm and sensibility, saying that speculation on Adib’s attackers and labelling them “terrorists” were not helpful.
“It is also irresponsible to conflate the perpetrators with a particular ethnic group,” the coalition’s executive council said in a statement.
It urged all Malaysians regardless of their ethnic and religious association to rally behind Adib’s family and offer them support in their grief.
Adib, who was attached to the Subang Jaya Fire and Rescue station, was among the firefighters deployed to a riot at the Sri Maha Mariamman temple Hindu temple in the Selangor township on November 27.
He was reportedly dragged out of the emergency response vehicle and assaulted by a mob, leaving him with broken bones and internal injuries.
He died at 9.41pm at the National Heart Institute yesterday and was buried in his home state of Kedah earlier this afternoon.