KUALA TERENGGANU: It was a heartwrenching day for Mohd Shazwan Kamaluddin when his childhood friend, Lance Corporal Ahmad Sobri, was laid to rest on Sunday morning at the Kampung Tok Mek Ngah Muslim cemetery in Kuala Nerus.
The grief-stricken Mohd Shazwan received a parcel at about 5.05pm on the same day from Ahmad Sobri which was couriered to him a day before the L/Kpl boarded on the ill-fated helicopter with five others including Deputy Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Noriah Kasnon in Sarawak.
“The moment I received the parcel, with my friend’s name on it as the sender, my knees went weak and I almost collapsed.
“I had then recalled that this was the parcel my friend had couriered to me from Sarawak with gifts for me and his parents, which he had informed me through a phone call on Wednesday.
“I didn’t have the strength to open the parcel and I immediately passed it on to Ahmad Sobriâ€™s parents. Let them be the first to open and receive the gifts from their late son,” said Mohd Shazwan, who is also Ahmad Sobri’s neighbour, at Kampung Bukit Chempaka, Batu Rakit, here.
He said he remembered during the phone call, Ahmad Sobri had mentioned about sending some fish and clothes for his parents.
Mohd Shazwan described Ahmad Sobri, Noriahâ€™s personal bodyguard, as a great friend who cared deeply for others.
They were constantly in touch and had exchanged messages before Ahmad Sobri boarded the helicopter from Betong to Kuching on Thursday.
The deceased also snapped a couple of pictures before the helicopter took off.
It crashed near Batang Lupar, killing Noriah, her husband Asmuni Abdullah, Plantation Industries and Commodities secretary-general Datuk Dr Sundaran Annamalai, Kuala Kangsar MP and Malaysian Palm Oil Board chairman Datuk Wan Mohammad Khair-il Anuar Wan Ahmad and Filipino pilot Rudolf Rex Ragas.