Minister: Govt to assist in sending victims’ families to NZ

Rokiah showing a picture of her son, Rahimi Ahmad, who was injured in the mass shooting in New Zealand. — Picture by Opalyn Mok
Rokiah showing a picture of her son, Rahimi Ahmad, who was injured in the mass shooting in New Zealand. — Picture by Opalyn Mok

KUANTAN, March 16 — The government will be assisting to bring families of victims injured in the terrorist incident at Al Noor Mosque, Christchurch, New Zealand yesterday to the country to enable them to give support to the victims involved.

Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said the government is concerned with the welfare of victims and will ensure all of them received the best treatment apart from assisting to bear the cost of medication.

“Wisma Putra is making the arrangement as some injured victims have their family members like children and parents in Malaysia.

“We will try to manage their travel there and pray the three injured Malaysians would recover,” he told reporters after opening Sekolah Kebangsaan Indera Mahkota Utama Parent Teacher Association annual general meeting here today.

Saifuddin also confirmed so far three Malaysians were reported injured in the incident while another is still missing.

The injured Malaysians are Mohd Tarmizi Shuib, 46, from Kedah; Rahimi Ahmad, 39, from Penang and Mohd Nazril Hisham Omar, 46, from Kelantan, while another person who is still missing is Mohd Haziq Mohd Shuib, 17, the son of the shot victim, Mohd Shuib.

“I understand the three of them are in stable condition and will be undergoing surgery to remove bullets from their wounds.

“Another son of Mohd Shuib, Mohd Haris is being treated at a children hospital here for trauma following the terrorist attack.

“Meanwhile, Mohd Haziq is still missing, I understand in the incident, some witnesses saw him running with his father but the father was shot... We do not know where is he, we hope he is hiding somewhere,” he said.

Following the incident, he said the government ordered two employees from the Malaysian High Commission in Wellington apart from a senior officer from Wisma Putra to assist. 

There are about 1,000 Malaysians in Christchurch with 208 students studying at several universities there.

All of them were reported to be safe.

Saifuddin who is also Indera Mahkota MP, said so far the government was informed by the Malaysian High Commissioner to New Zealand, Nur Izzah Wong Mee Choo that the situation in Christchurch has stabilised.

However, he said, the authorities in the country have advised residents to stay indoors for the time being for their own safety.

At the same time, Saifuddin would be contacting New Zealand’s Deputy Prime Minister, Winston Peters, who is also the Foreign Minister, to express the sympathy of the Malaysian government to the country and its citizens killed in the incident described as a horrible act of terrorism.         

On whether the government will issue a travel warning to the country, Saifuddin said the government has not decided to do so.

“We do not see the need to do so but we will be sending a military attache on the matter,” he said.

So far, the authorities in New Zealand have confirmed 49 killed in the terrorist incident at two mosques in Christchurch when Muslims were going for Friday prayers and 20 more people were reported injured. — Bernama