NGO responsible for Bernama man’s death, says kin

By Boo Su-Lyn
The Malaysian Insider
Sep 04, 2011

SUBANG, Sept 4 — As Malaysians mourn the killing of a local journalist in Somalia, Noramfaizul Mohd Nor’s relatives want the non-governmental By Boo Su-LynPutera 1 Malaysia Club to be held responsible for his death.

The club — which is headed by Umno supreme council member Datuk Abdul Azeez Rahim — organised a humanitarian mission to the war-torn country that led to the Bernama TV cameraman’s death last Friday.

“They (Putera 1 Malaysia Club) are the ones who organised (the mission). They cannot lepas tangan (evade responsibility),” Noramfaizul’s uncle Abu Bakar Md Yasin told The Malaysian Insider at the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) base here today.

“They should have done prior intelligence. Don’t just barge in. This is a foreign country,” added the 64-year-old retired civil servant from the Defence Ministry.

International media rights watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) rank Somalia as the deadliest country in Africa for media personnel, with 23 media workers killed since 2007.

The famine-stricken country has not had a functioning government for more than 20 years.

Noramfaizul was killed in the Somali capital of Mogadishu when African Union peacekeepers allegedly shot at a truck in which six mission members, including the 39-year-old, were travelling.

The cameraman — who worked in national news agency Bernama for 11 years — leaves behind a wife, Norazrina Jaafar, and two sons aged eight and three years.

Norazrina wept when her husband’s body was brought down from RMAF’s C-130 aircraft here today, as hundreds gathered on the tarmac under the gentle morning sun.

Noramfaizul’s other uncle, Md Tahir Md Yasin, said his nephew’s death could have been avoided.

“They should wear bulletproof vests. It’s not a stable country,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

The 69-year-old retired teacher said Bernama should also be held accountable for Noramfaizul’s death, besides the Putera 1 Malaysia Club.

Mary Francis, the mother of a psychologist who was part of the mission team, echoed Tahir’s remarks, saying: “They don’t have bulletproof vests. This is important in a war-torn country.”

Mary Francis, the mother of a psychologist who was part of the mission team, says the mission team wore bulletproof vests after Noramfaizul was shot dead. — Foto by Boo Su-Lyn

She pointed out that the team wore bulletproof vests when Noramfaizul’s body was taken back. “It’s too late…he would have been protected if he had a vest,” she said.

The 54-year-old housewife, who was weeping as she spoke, also said the mission team should have been given full training.

Deputy Information, Communication and Culture Minister Senator Datuk Maglin Dennis D’Cruz similarly stressed that the journalists should have received better protection and training.

“Provide bulletproof jackets, cars…should have given them more army security,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

“They should have some training in war zones. First-timers shouldn’t be sent,” added the senator.

  1. #1 by Loh on Sunday, 4 September 2011 - 11:59 pm

    ///3:47PM Sep 4 | 7
    Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and about 30 of his cabinet ministers on Saturday declared their personal wealth.///–Malaysiakini

    Malaysian cabinet members too would be too happy to do similar declaration. But in view of the fact that they have too many assets and too much wealth that it would be unfair to fore them to recall what they own, the PM kept all declarations made by Cabinet ministers for affirming loyalty. Besides, MACC has only been good in causing custodial death of witnesses, and they would bark when called upon to.

  2. #2 by wanderer on Monday, 5 September 2011 - 12:39 am

    What’s the problem?…life is cheap as far as this racist and corrupted political party is concerned. Remember TBH, Kugan and others who were murdered unsensely At least, Datuk T could have given his bullet proof vest to our poor fellow Malaysian who was asked to glorify UMNO.

  3. #3 by boh-liao on Monday, 5 September 2011 - 1:16 am

    Wise men say only fools rush in, but we can’t help ….. barging in2 Somalia, so said Putera 1 Malaysia Club, a branch of d omnipotent where can mati 1 lah UmnoB

  4. #4 by Jeffrey on Monday, 5 September 2011 - 2:20 am

    ///It’s too late…he would have been protected if he had a vest/// – Mary Francis.
    Maybe so, maybe not.

    According to reports (BernamaTV journalist Khairulanuar) two gunshots were from right hand side of their vehicle, a bullet pierced through Noramfaizul’s shoulders to his lungs …
    Bullet proof vests would be protective against a frontal shot. Depending on the vest, most vests protect top part of shoulders leaving exposed upper arm adjoining the shoulder. This means that even had a vest been worn, the upper right arm is unlikely to be protected against a shot from the right side that hits the upper arm/shoulder area piercing through it to the lungs. This could be freak shot.

  5. #5 by undertaker888 on Monday, 5 September 2011 - 6:53 am

    And why African union peacekeepers are firing at the truck? Aren’t they peacekeepers?

    Did umno owned media hired thugs to protect them during the filming trip?peacekeepers and thugs. These two dont mix together well.

  6. #6 by drngsc on Monday, 5 September 2011 - 8:16 am

    My deepest condolences to Noramfaizul’s family and loved ones. I am sure that his untimely death will be sadly missed.

    He is responsible for his death. He died at work. It is reasonable to investigate his death so that the family and loved ones can understand what had happened. Was it avoidable? Did he take unnecessary risk. Don’t blame others when we do not have the facts. This is Somalia, for Godsake.

    I also cannot understand how he can be a Malaysian hero. He died doing his work in a very dangerous part of the world. Are we so obsess with heros, and so short of heroes that any Tom, Dick, and Harry, who dies doing his work, becomes a hero? No offence meant, but what has he done for the country to make him a hero? He was just doing his job.

    We must change the tenant at Putrajaya. GE 13 is our best chance. Failure is not an option. We must work very very hard.

  7. #7 by boh-liao on Monday, 5 September 2011 - 9:30 am

    Got done risk assessment n risk management or no aah b4 barging in2 Somalia?

  8. #8 by Bigjoe on Monday, 5 September 2011 - 11:45 am

    This has been a tragedy already for the family, for the country and what does Najib do? He, as Malaysiakini says, ‘callously tell journalist to ‘stay home’.. The man shows the highest mediocrity – unable to even repressed his tendency to go for easy solutions in the face of tough problems.

    The people responsible Putera UMNO and Azeez was smarter than him to keep their mouth shut and just give a string of excuses. But Najib does not have the presence of mind and character to stop himself from giving the prodigal child’s answer..

    Its definitely UMNO’s fault at least the Mahathirist UMNO of ‘the ends justify the means’ – its a stupid way to run most things but most things in this country, because of Mahathir and his followers, including the mission is run that way.

    That is why the man is dead. – and we still got loads of crap to deal with or more senselessness will continue to happen..

  9. #9 by dagen on Monday, 5 September 2011 - 3:27 pm

    /// “They (Putera 1 Malaysia Club) are the ones who organised (the mission). They cannot lepas tangan (evade responsibility),” Noramfaizul’s uncle Abu Bakar Md Yasin told The Malaysian Insider at the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) base here today.

    “They should have done prior intelligence. Don’t just barge in. This is a foreign country,” added the 64-year-old retired civil servant from the Defence Ministry. ///

    Sorry uncle Abu Bakar. So about your nephew. You hv my condolence. But tell me. During GE who do you normally vote?

  10. #10 by dagen on Monday, 5 September 2011 - 3:31 pm

    And one more thing. Can you also ask cintanegara whether what that had happened to your nehpew is acceptable to him?

  11. #11 by cemerlang on Monday, 5 September 2011 - 10:52 pm

    This Dtk Abdul fler issued a challenge to DAP to go there and find out for yourself. He seemed to be missing the point. The point is are you really prepare to go to war ravaged countries. He said they did not do it to get recognition. Well if there is no desire for recognition, why do you bring along all the reporters and cameraman ? If you sincerely want to help with only God knowing it, then go there without publicity and all the hoo ha like they go to Gaza also. So many people know. All published front page big headings. Malaysia in Gaza being shot by soldiers. Malaysia in Somalia with one death. Next time this Putera club or whichever hero club wants to go to some war torn countries, do it ikhlas. Make sure all volunteers know how to fight and defend. Make sure all volunteers know what it means to be cold blooded. You Malaysian reporters have not come to the stage like your European counterparts. Not only did they die, but tortured to death or torture before being released or imprisoned for years. Are you the Malaysian reporters ready for that and for death ? You all go there main main and as if on holiday. You think it is holiday there ? These warriors do not care if you shout out the name of Allah or if you wave white. They just want to kill. To them, everyone else is an enemy. Get that into your head. They are not Malaysians.

  12. #12 by tak tahan on Tuesday, 6 September 2011 - 12:39 am

    This journalists want to be a hero and rich upon coming back much publicity and perk from the 1 Umno Putera Club.Can si 1 ar?Si la who cares.. got money mah.No training no protective bullet what?Not your business..after all you RM200k..maybe the stake will go higher as the bidding goes like the election buying votes..tolong la gua baru gua boleh tolong sama lu..piggy jib..but the jeep no media advert for the journalists’ convoy to differentiate from the others.Omedeto gozaimasu..syabas!!Try harder babies!!

  13. #13 by raven77 on Tuesday, 6 September 2011 - 1:59 pm

    The last time Malaysians had to assist the Americans to get out from Somalia in the Battle of Mogadishu …they didnt take 15 reporters..

    And BTW…the real soldier who got killed then never got the hero’s welcome in death like UMNO Youth and the unfortunate reporter..

    Hello soldiers….especially the fellas making a whole lot of noise about Bukit Kepong… come you fellas are not fighting for recognition and RM200, 000 for your fallen collegue in the Battle of Mogadishu…..

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