Celebrating Aidilfitri at sea a familiar scene for MMEA members

Unwavering dedication to safeguarding national security.

07 Apr 2024 09:00am
Photo for illustrative purposes only. Bernama FILE PIX
Photo for illustrative purposes only. Bernama FILE PIX

BACHOK - Celebrating Aidilfitri while on duty patrolling the country’s waters is certainly no stranger to members of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, demonstrating their unwavering dedication to safeguarding national security.

This exemplifies the dedication and sacrifice of the technical crew aboard MMEA’s vessel, KM Jujur, as they fulfil their duty in the waters of Kelantan.

Shahrul Nizam, 30, who hails from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, shared that it has been almost five years since he last celebrated Aidilfitri with his family.

Since completing his training and joining the service in 2020, he has been stationed at the Kelantan MMEA headquarters in Tok Bali as one of the crew members tasked with operating the engine of the KM Jujur.

"For nearly five years residing in Kelantan, I haven't had the chance to return to Sabah due to my work commitments. Video calls have been my main way of staying connected with my family.

"My mother’s cooking, especially her Burasak and Soto Makassar, is something I miss dearly every Raya. Unfortunately, these traditional Sabah delicacies are not available in Kelantan,” he told reporters after conducting a routine inspection of fishing boats in Terengganu waters near Pulau Perhentian here last night.

Shahrul said that to deal with homesickness during Syawal, he and his comrades resorted to playing Aidilfitri songs as a way to alleviate their longing for family.

"It’s the Raya songs that really help ease the longing for family back in Sabah and alleviate my sadness,” said the eldest of five siblings.

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Haziq Aiman Abdul Aziz, a 26-year-old KM Jujur navigation crew member who joined the service in 2020, said he was stationed at the Kelantan MMEA headquarters after completing his training.

The Negeri Sembilan-native said that his task is to ensure KM Jujur navigates safely and avoids any collisions at sea during operations.

"The role of a navigation crew member is challenging, as we have to navigate through rough seas and unpredictable weather,” he said.

On this year’s Aidilfitri celebrations, Haziq Aiman, who hasn’t celebrated the festival in his hometown in Kuala Pilah for almost five years, said he has become accustomed to celebrating Hari Raya away from his family.

To keep in touch with his family during Aidilfitri, Haziq Aiman mentioned that he regularly communicates with them through video calls.

"Although I’m alone in Kelantan, I had to find ways to keep myself amused and overcome loneliness. One of the things I did was make TikTok videos with my colleague,” said the eldest of three siblings. - BERNAMA

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