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Landslide survivors celebrate Aidil Adha

KUALA LUMPUR, 8 Dec 2008:  Whatever happens, life has to go on.

This was demonstrated today by a group of Muslims residents from Bukit Antarabangsa in Hulu Klang who have been trapped in their homes by a landslide that cut off the access road to their housing estates.

There is neither electricity nor water supply. These were disrupted by the landslide, which occurred at about 4am on Saturday, killing four people and flattening 14 bungalows in Taman Bukit Mewah and Taman Bukit Utama.

But today is Aidil Adha.

The 100 or so Muslims cleaned up the mosque in Bukit Utama, construction of which is 90% complete, and held their prayers there.

“We observed the occasion on a moderate scale while waiting for road access to the area to be restored for the (trapped) residents to get out of here,” Bukit Utama resident Dr Mohd Rafik Abd Rahman told Bernama.

He said the residents swept the sand and dust and laid mats on the floor to hold the prayers this morning.

In times like this, one’s safety takes precedence over one’s comfort, he said.

“We expected the mosque to be ready before Aidil Adha but the landslide happened. Nevertheless, we used the mosque all the same,” he said.

The yet-to-be-named mosque is the first for the people of Bukit Antarabangsa who had been using the Addiniah surau in Bukit Mewah all along.

Meanwhile, Muslim residents of Sinar Ukay Condominium held an Aidil Adha reception for Muslim residents of the Kyoto Garden Condominium.

A resident of Sinar Ukay Condominium, Bernama Radio 24 producer Rahayu Nordin, said: “All of us brought food and shared it.”

The Muslims in the Bukit Mewah area attended prayers at the Addiniah surau, which is being used for search-and-rescue (SAR) operations.

The surau had a surprise visitor this morning in Information Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek who attended the prayers along with the residents.

Also present were Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar and Selangor Chief Police Officer Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar.

All personnel involved in the SAR operation and journalists were feted to an Aidil Adha feast at the nearby operations room.

Some 30 people from non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have been gathering at the relief centre at Sekolah Kebangsaan Hulu Klang since Saturday to cook meals for the landslide survivors and the SAR personnel.

One of the NGO volunteers told Bernama they prepared breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner meals for at least 1,500 people daily.

This morning, only members of one family remained at the relief centre, and they are expected to move elsewhere this evening.

Saturday’s landslide claimed the lives of veterinary doctor Dr N Yogeswari, 40, accountant Eng Yee Peng, 30, Shaiful Khas Shahrudin, 20, and an Indonesian national, Surinah, in her 30s.

The SAR operation, called off at 6.30pm yesterday, was resumed at 9.30pm following a report that Yogeswari’s Sri Lankan maid was missing and could be trapped in the rubble.


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