Firefighter’s eldest son shoulders mantle to care for siblings

Seen is Firdaus (right) with his brothers, Khirudin (second right), acting state deputy director Tiong Ling Hii (left) and Zuraida during the visit.

By Nancy Nais

SIBU, June 23: Mohamad Firdaus Mohd Sapaee, 18, is now the sole breadwinner of his family, after the passing of his firefighter father Mohd Sapee Julaihi.

The eldest among four siblings, Firdaus now takes over the role as a father, mother and brother to his siblings Mohamad Faiz, 14, Mohamad Firas, 11 and Mohamad Faris, 9.

Their father Sapee, 55, a single parent, passed away on Friday (June 21) at about 7.55am from a heart attack after his last task – answering to a public emergency call, catching a python at a house in Permai Jaya earlier that same morning.

The task was successful; however, as the firefighters were returning to Sibu Central fire station, Sapee complained of chest pain.

He was immediately brought to the hospital but passed away during treatment.

“When he was still alive, my father often reminded us four to study hard, be successful people and always help the community regardless of race and religion,” Firdaus said when met during a visit by a group of Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) officers including state director Khirudin Drahman to the family today.

Firdaus, who is a general worker at a supermarket in town, promised to look after his brothers, ensuring that they will continue their studies.

“When my father was working night shift, I would take over the responsibilities of looking after my brothers. If he was on day shift, my brothers will stay at the fire station after their school hours, while waiting for Father to finish his work at 8pm. Sometimes uncle and aunty Bomba will help to look after and teach them some Mathematics,” he said.

Meanwhile, Firas said he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps.

“I want to help people, like what he did. After all, that was what he taught us since young,” he said.

Minister of Housing and Local Government Zuraida Kamaruddin also made a brief visit to Sapee’s children this morning. — DayakDaily