KOTA KINABALU, Sept 4 — Major Mohd Zahir Armaya, the son of veteran Malaysian actor AR Badul, died today from a bullet shot during a ‘live’ demonstration at the Lok Kawi army camp here.
The 36-year-old soldier died at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital at about 9.20am, Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu confirmed in a statement this afternoon.
“I hope the victim’s family receives the strength to face this tragedy and we at the Defence Ministry also feel the loss,” the minister better known as Mat Sabu said as he expressed his condolences.
He called on the public to respect the family and not to speculate on the events that led to Mohd Zahir’s death.
*KENYATAAN MEDIA* Menerima khabar duka pemergian anggota komando 11 Rejimen Gerak Khas, Mejar Mohd Zahir Armaya yang maut semasa melakukan demonstrasi keupayaan sempena gimik penubuhan Divisyen Kelima Infantri Malaysia (5 Div), pagi tadi. Saya merakamkan simpati yang mendalam dan mengucapkan takziah kepada keluarga Allahyarham. Allahyarham yang juga anak kepada seniman veteran tanah air, A.R Badul menghembuskan nafas terakhir di Hospital Queen Elizabeth di Kota Kinabalu pada pukul 9.20 pagi tadi. Saya berharap keluarga kepada Allaharyam tabah menghadapi suasana pilu ini dan kami di Kementerian Pertahanan amat bersimpati atas kesedihan ini. Saya juga mengharapkan orang ramai tidak membuat sebarang spekulasi sehingga laporan bedah siasat selesai bagi menghormati keluarga Allahyarham. YB MOHAMAD BIN SABU KEMENTERIAN PERTAHANAN MALAYSIA 4 September 2019
Mohd Zahir was attached to the 11th Regiment special unit from the Sungai Udang camp in Melaka and was in Sabah for an army exhibition in conjunction with the launch of the 5th Infantry Division and 13th infantry brigade at Lok Kawi.
Rehearsals started last week.
Mohd Zahir was also father to five children aged between nine years and five months.
Army chief General Datuk Seri Ahmad Hasbullah Mohd Nawawi described Mohd Zahir’s death as a loss.
He said the army will be handling the funeral arrangements and will take care of the deceased’s next of kin.
He said a post-mortem is being conducted at the same hospital and that a board of investigation is being set up to determine how the incident happened.
Malay daily Harian Metro reported the victim’s father, veteran actor Badul whose real name is Armaya Aman Ramlie as having accepted his son’s death.
“What happened to him was that he got shot during practice this morning. The bulletproof vest he was wearing could not contain the bullet and it is very sad,” the 70-year-old actor was quoted saying.
Mohd Zahid is reportedly the eldest of two siblings from Badul’s marriage to his third wife, who is from Sabah.
In a separate news report, Utusan Online reported that Mohd Zahir had sent a photo in the morning through WhatsApp to his widow, Nourshafinar Harun before the practice began.
“He sent a photo of him getting ready to go for the practice. I couldn’t chat long to him then,” she said, adding that she last saw him when she sent him to the airport about a week ago.
She told the Malay portal that his death was extremely unexpected and described it as a challenge given that they just had a baby six months ago.