Fallen hero Yahya Ali’s family still in tears

Yahya Ali's remains were flown by Bomba helicopter Mi171 from Sibu airport to Kampung Tian in Matu, Mukah.

SIBU Oct 5: Devastated. That’s how the family of firefighter Yahya Ali feels his passing together with five other Bomba divers while trying to locate a missing teenager in a disused mining pool at Taman Putra Perdana in Puchong, Selangor, on Wednesday (Oct 3).

Still visibly shaken by the tragic loss suffered by his family, Yahya’s father, Ali Bengan, 55, narrated that his son was a humble man who loved his parents and siblings dearly.

“He was a good son and a good brother. He was a caring and kindest man you could ever meet,” Ali told DayakDaily after the funeral at their village in Kampung Tian, Matu.

State Bomba director Khirudin Drahman handing over the department flag to Yahya’s father Ali Bengan.
Yahya’s parents, Ali Bengan and Halimah Gronggong received a token of assistance from state Bomba director Khirudin Drahman.

Yahya’s mother, Halimah Gronggong, 45, who was still in a state of shock when approached for her comments, muttered that besides his own family, Yahya regarded everyone in the Fire and Rescue Department as a family.

“We are thankful to the community and Bomba for their support. We asked that you please keep the fire service in your prayers, always,” she said.

During the funeral service, many neighbours came forward to lend a helping hand, especially at the cemetery, where many men were spotted digging Yahya’s grave frantically. The Muslim cemetary is sitting on peat soil, and this caused water to continuously flow into the grave.

Bomba personnel carrying the remains of Yahya to his parent’s house at Kpg Tian, Matu, in Mukah.
Yahya father, Ali Bengan sprinkled scented water at his grave site.

Meanwhile, a neighbour, who wished to remained anonymous, said, “It’s way too young to be gone. There was was so much more of life in him to live and to teach other people.”

Yahya was portrayed as a son who is proud of his family and who wants his siblings to succeed in their education.

His sister Zainab Ali, 20, said his family was shocked after being told of the fateful incident by a friend. She said the last time she spoke to Yahya was last Saturday, when Yahya enquired about the family’s dress theme for the next Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

Another sister, Julia Ali, 15, said her brother always encouraged her to study hard and to do well in her Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination next month.

The youngest sibling, Arif Aiman Ali, 12, could only say the whole episode was still “unacceptable” to him. — DayakDaily