July 12 bittersweet anniversary for late Mulu tourist guide’s family

Robin (fourth left) and other family members of the late Roviezal, receive a letter of appreciation from Bomba Sarawak director Khirudin (third left), witnessed by Bomba Sarawak operations assistant director Tiong Ling Hii (back row) and Mulu National Park manager Hein (left).

By Nancy Nais

MULU, July 12: Today marks the 1st year anniversary of the flood disaster in Deer Cave at Mulu National Park that took the lives of tourist guide Roviezal Robin, 20, and a Dutch tourist on July 12, 2019.

Coincidentally, today is also the day that the Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) Malaysia launched its first Mountain Cave Search and Rescue (Mocsar) team in Mulu.

Joining in the event to mark the milestone this morning were the late Roviezal’s parents and four siblings.

When Mulu National Park manager Hein Getsner spoke of tourist guide Roviezal’s commitment in his work during a speech, the latter’s parents could not hold their tears.

The memory of their second son still lingers in their minds even till today, Roviezal’s father Robin Lagang and mother Doria Batan, told DayakDaily when met.

“After Roviezal finished his Form 5 education, he told us he wanted to work to support the family. He understood our hardship and chose to work so he can help out with his younger siblings’ education,” Robin said tearfully.

The loss of his son still weighs heavily on him, but Robin said he accepted the fact and fate that Roviezal was not meant to be with them very long.

Doris said her son was very close to her and his death was difficult for her even until today.

“He chose to work so he could help us and take care of his younger siblings. Now he is no longer with us,” she said as she wiped tears from her eyes.

It was an emotional day for Robin Lagang and Doria Batan on the anniversary of their late son’s death.

Finding meaning in life after his brother’s death, Willvien Robin, 26, who worked as a porter for Mulu National Park, decided to be part of Bomba Malaysia’s first Mountain Cave Search and Rescue (Mocsar) team when the department announced that they will set one up.

The Mocsar team was launched By Sarawak Bomba director Khirudin Drahman in a ceremony at Gunung Mulu National Park this morning.

Based in Mulu, the MOCSAR team will not only be the first responders when there are any mountain or cave incidents but also responsible for extinguishing structural, forest fires and conducting other rescue duties including those involving animals or road accidents.

The first batch of personnel will undergo various forms of training and modules of at least 12 hours per week. This is to ensure that they can continuously improve their skills.

They must complete at least 60 hours of training and modules per month for the first six months.

Willvien (right) showing his letter of appointment as a Mocsar team member which he received from Bomba Sarawak director Khirudin (left).

Speaking to DayakDaily, Willvien who is the eldest among five siblings, said Roviezal has sacrificed his own life in order to save others under his care.

“When the incident happened, he was taking nine tourists into Deer Cave. What he did was an honourable deed. He never thought twice about his own safety, but his tourists must come first. So I took up the Mocsar offer to continue his legacy,” Willvien said.

Grateful to be included among the pioneer batch, Willvien said he is determined and will do his best, not only for his late brother, but also for his parents, siblings and Bomba Sarawak. — DayakDaily

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