KUCHING, July 28: It was a sombre mood at Kampung Skio’s St Edward cemetery this afternoon as the crowd slowly gathered to pay their last respects to the late teacher-hero Catherine Janet Tiwi and her grieving family members.
Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong was present to pay his last respects on behalf of the state government and his ministry.
“On behalf of the state government and my ministry, I would like to express our deepest condolences to the family of the late Catherine Janet. It was unfortunate that Catherine only managed to serve as a teacher in Baram a little more than a year.
“According to reports she was very hardworking, dedicated, and has very good attitude. This is a big loss to us especially Sarawak’s teaching fraternity,” he told reporters.
Meanwhile, Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Women Chief Kho Teck Wan who came later also extended her deepest condolences to the family: “She is a heroic teacher who perished trying to save two of her colleagues from a fire that engulfed two teacher quarters at SK Batu Bungan in Mulu.
“Catherine’s death is a big loss to her family and her community. We will remember her noble act and her sacrifices.”
Kho also conveyed that their party president Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian hoped that relevant authorities would further improve the fire safety infrastructures so all educators would be able to teach in a safe and conducive environment.
State Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) Director Nor Hisham Mohammad said as a member of the Bomba cadet, Catherine was among those who had diligently taught others how to deal with risk of fire safely.
“But it was very unfortunate that the things she taught others actually happened to her. I, on behalf of Bomba Sarawak and Malaysia, express our deepest condolence to her family.
“I would also like to thank her relatives, friends and the community for giving moral support following her heroic acts of saving her two colleagues,” he said. — DayakDaily