Friday, September 2, 2011
Friday, 2nd September 2011 is a sad and tragic day to the Malaysian Media fraternity. They lost a fellow professional who was willing to work anytime anywhere to povide news services to Malaysians and to the world.
Bernama TV Cameraman, Noramfaizul Mohd Noor, 39 was killed while on duty in war torn Mogadishu, Somalia. He was shot by rebels. A bullet pierced through his shoulder into his lungs. Despite efforts by doctors, he could not be saved. May his soul rest in peace.
This is the last picture of Noramfaizul, seen here working in war-torn Mogadishu, hours before his tragic and untimely death.
Noramfaizul leaves behind wife, Norazrina Jaafar, 37 (pic above, left) and 2 small children, Mohd Irfan, 8 years old and Mohd Naufal, 3 years old (pic above, right)
Noramfaizul had been to Gaza, Palestine and Pakistan, doing news coverage on humanitarian missions by caring Malaysians.
Another TV Cameraman from Malaysia, Aji Saregar Mazlan of TV3, (picture above-middle), was injured in his right arm. He was seen being consoled by fellow journalists from NTV7 Malaysia. Aji Saregar was seated in the same 4 wheel drive vehicle as Noramfaizul when the shooting happened.
Meanwhile Malaysian Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (picture above) has described Noramfaizul Mohd Nor as a true Malaysian hero "who embodies our role to help wherever help is needed".
Expressing sadness over what had happened, Najib said: "We've lost a very
noble and a truly dedicated Malaysian.
"He was willing to take the risk to provide extensive coverage of our
missions to help others in many parts of the world."
Speaking to Bernama from Perth, Australia on Saturday, 3rd September 2011, Najib said he was cutting short his visit to Perth and would be flying back to Kuala Lumpur to enable him to be at the military airbase in Subang for the arrival of Noramfaizul's remains on Sunday, 4th September 2011.
Mogadishu, Somalia, 2nd September 2011.
Bernama TV cameraman Noramfaizul Mohd Nor, 39, of Malaysia, sacrificed his Hari Raya festive season and his life to do news coverage in Somalia with the Putera 1Malaysia Club for the Humanitarian aid mission.
The Mission is to help send food and medicine as well as providing medical aid to thousands of famine-stricken Somali, hit by long drought and endless wars and armed conflicts.
Noramfaizul hoped that through his news coverage, the world will give more attention to the plight of the Somalis and give more helping hands to save the starving and dying Somalis.
It is estimated that 3.7 millions Somalis are in famine and 200 victims die each day.
However, that noble intention was never appreciated by some heartless and evil-hearted Somalis.
This is a view of the devastation in Mogadishu, capital of Somalia due to endless wars and conflicts.
Somalia is a very dangerous place for Journalists, just like Iraq, Afghanistan, Philippines and Mexico. According to Committee to Protect Journalists Worldwide, C-P-J, 34 journalists from various countries, died while covering the wars and conflicts in Somalia between 1992 to 2011.
During the same period of time, 71 journalists died in Philippines, 25 died in Mexico, 150 died in Iraq and 23 died in Afghanistan.
Somalia is located in the East of Africa, near Kenya and Ethiopia.
Instead, they shot and killed Noramfaizul in Mogadishu on Friday night, 2nd September 2011 or the 4th Day of Syawal where Aidil Fitri is still being celebrated joyfully by Moslems worldwide.
This incident shocked the Malaysian media fraternity.
No Malaysian journalists lost their lives in recent years, while doing news assignments in war zones and conflict areas in various parts of the world.
The Malaysian media had done news coverage during wars and conflicts in Bosnia, Iraq, Rwanda, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Congo, Lebanon, Southern Philippines, Indonesia and many more, but they came back unscatched.
Noramfaizul went to Somalia as a dedicated journalist, but he is now gone.
According to Khairulanuar Yahaya, a Bernama TV journalist in Mogadishu, Noramfaizul was with members of the electronic media on a 4 wheel drive vehicle and heading to the city's commercial centre to send visuals back to Malaysia, using high speed internet, that were earlier recorded.
Suddenly, he was hit by a bullet fired at an army truck by rebels.
The bullet had pierced through his lungs.
The incident happened at 10.30pm Malaysia time and Noramfaizul passed away at 11.07pm (Malaysian time) which is five hours ahead of Mogadishu, while receiving medical attention.
Khairulanuar said shots were fired at a government army truck that was accompanying the media vehicle and a stray bullet hit Noramfaizul who was seated by the door.
The humanitarian mission to Somalia arrived in Mogadishu on August 28th, 2011 and expected to return on September 8th, 2011.
Now that the incident cost the life of a member of that mission, the entire members of that mission are scheduled to go back to Malaysia, earlier. The situation in Somalia is too dangerous for the mission to continue their stay.
Latest news, the Malaysian Humanitarian Missions are scheduled to fly back to Malaysia from Mogadishu at 5 am (10 am Malaysian time), on Saturday 3rd September 2011 and is due back in Malaysia on Sunday 4th September 2011 at 10 am.
Another TV cameramen Aji Saregar Mazlan of TV3, who was also shot at, escaped with light injuries on his right hand.
Armed conflicts in Somalia not only make life hard for the victims of drought and famine, they also make it extremely difficult to channel international aid.
The humanitarian mission to Somalia organised by Putera 1Malaysia Club has to be accompanied by armed personnel whenever they distribute food and supplies.
Ever since the mission landed at the Mogadishu International Airport on August 28, 2011 they had been closely guarded by government soldiers.
Aid distribution is overseen by security forces carrying heavy arms, including rocket launchers.
In Somalia, it is common to see citizens carrying weapons such as AK-47s in city streets. Neither soldiers nor police, they are armed for self-protection as violence continues in the aftermath of the long civil war.
The war began in 1991 when the Somali Union of Congress appointed Ali Mahdi Muhammad as the new president, against the opposition of the armed wing of the union, led by General Muhamad Farah Aidid.
To date, Somalia has failed to form a permanent government. Armed conflicts between tribes continue.
The situation has been made even more unstable by the Al-Shabaab anti-government group of Somalis, now controlling certain regions of the country.
"They have no identification," said government officer Abdul Razak Duale of the group. "They wear masks. You can't see their faces. You don't know who they are. Maybe it's your son."
Within the 55-member Malaysian mission, security measures include confinement to residential grounds between 6 pm and 6 am daily.
Mission members engaged in aid distribution are trained to leave an area when a situation becomes out of control.
"In view of the grave uncertainty, we are prepared to face any eventuality, and that was our pledge," said mission head Datuk Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim, Putera 1Malaysia Club chairman.
Mission members have distributed 300 tonnes of goods to residents of camps around Mogadishu, including Badbado and Maalin camps last Thursday, 1st September 2011.
The mission has also delivered medicine to the Somali Ministry of Health, and contributed RM30,000 (US$10,000) to the Somali National Eye Centre.
Rest in Peace to Noramfaizul and condolences to his family.