KLANG, Nov 5 — Soft-spoken, fervently religious, well-liked and held in high regard — such were the terms used to describe Abdul Rahim Abdul Rahman, who died tragically on his way to perform Friday prayers.
The 61-year-old and his wife Nurhayati Rosli, 56, were killed when their car was almost flattened by a huge piledriver which crashed on the vehicle as it travelled past a worksite in Bandar Baru Bukit Raja during lunch hour yesterday.
“I could not have asked for a better father and teacher,” eldest son Muhamad Zahidin Abdul Rahim, 32, told Malay Mail yesterday evening, when met at the Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital mortuary.
“His leadership abilities were evident by all who knew him. Outsiders knew him as Ustaz Rahim, but people back home knew him as Imam Rahim.”
Surprisingly calm over the manner of his death, Zahidin said his family was originally from Parit Yaanai, Johor, but resettled in Jelebu, Negri Sembilan, as Felda settlers in 1984.
“When I was growing up, he would often be outstation to work as a foreign labour recruitment agent, but also as an imam and practitioner of traditional Islamic medicine,” said the 32-year-old army cook.
“Yet he never forgot his duties and responsibilities to us as a father.”
Abdul Rahim retired from being a full-time religious teacher and foreign labour recruitment agent in 1995 and 2003 respectively. He later married Nurhayati, whom Zahidin remembers as a warm person.
“Although I was not very close to her, my stepmother was always kind towards us in their 15 years of marriage. She made no distinction between her biological children and stepchildren,” he said, adding the couple had been running a mixed rice and ayam penyet stall in Tesco Setia Alam since 2013.
Zahidin last spoke to Abdul Rahim last week, when he went to collect money to fix his father’s Volvo gearbox problem.
“He called me at about 2pm on Thursday, but I could not pick up the call as I was on duty,” he said.
“They had dropped off some goods at their stall and were heading to Bandar Bukit Raja for Friday prayers when the incident occurred.”
Although he accepted his father’s death as fate, Zahidin said he would take legal action against the company and individuals responsible.
“No one wanted this to happen. But it happened. So now it is up to us to hold them accountable,” he said.
“I ask the authorities to monitor the safety of construction sites so that others will not have to endure what my family is going through now.
“If they could not guarantee others’ safety, why construct there in the first place?”
Abdul Rahim leaves behind seven sons and five grandchildren from his first marriage, while Nurhayati leaves behind two sons and a daughter from her previous marriage.