Published on: Sunday, March 10, 2013
Kota Kinabalu: The widow Cpl Salam Togiran, who was among eight policemen slain by armed Filipino intruders in separate incidents in Lahad Datu and Semporna a week ago, is beginning to come to terms with her loss.
Tears have run dry for 38-year-old, Marlinah Utan, from Tawau who has managed to stay strong - thanks to moral support and words of comfort from family, friends and Malaysians.
"The first few days after receiving the news was very tough for my children and me but I try to be strong and I am more calm and at peace right now," said Marlinah, who has four children aged between one and 16.
She said her eldest child is still trying to come to terms with the tragedy and has not attended classes since.
Salam, who was attached to the Tawau Police Station Transportation Branch was killed in an ambush in Kg Sri Jaya Siminul in Semporna on March 1.
She said prior to his death, he was always talking about dying as a martyr and when she asked him why, he would say 'wouldn't it be good if we could die a martyr'. She was among three widows who attended a special donation and luncheon jointly organised by the State Police Family Association and Puteri Umno. Her youngest daughter, Umie Amira Umairah, was with her.
"Umie was close to her father and she still looks for her father.
Every time his photo is shown on television, she would point at the screen and call out 'ayah' (father).
Also present was the widow of Tawau General Operations Force Sgt Aziz Sarikun from Taman Pelangi in Semporna, Sitti Bandora Mahalil, aged 38, and their four children Mohd Faridzulhilmi,19, Nurul Liyana, 16, Nurul Hazwani, 13, and Muhammad Aiman Hakimi, eight.
Nurul Liyana, Sitti Bandora said, has been feeling unwell since news of her father's death reached them, adding that her youngest son has also been asking when his father will be home.
"He is still unable to fully understand that his father is no longer with us even though he attended the funeral but I hope he would slowly come to terms with our loss," she said.
Widow of Sgt Baharin Hamit, Sumiati Suarah, 50, and their two children ,Muhd Izzat Syafiq Baharin,16, and Nur Izzaty Syafiqah Baharin,11, were also present.
Also present were Toh Puan Datuk Seri Norlidah Datuk R.M. Jasni, Deputy State Police Commissioner SAC II Datuk Tan Kok Liang, Sabah Police Family Association Chairwoman Datin Alauyah Mohamed, Health Ministry Deputy Minister Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin, Malaysia Police Family Association Chairwoman Puan Sri Suriati Md Sobri, Bukit Aman Internal Security and Public Order Director Datuk Salleh Mat Rasid.