Selamat Hari Raya. It would have been a splendid Ramadan: we sent the first Malaysian to space, Dr Mahathir is recovering well from two surgeries at IJN, and a brave girl ended her long wait for a heart transplant.
But it hasn't been a splendid Ramadan.
I will remember this Ramadan for how we failed little Nurin. How we let her wait for a whole month only to die a most brutal death, because we did not do enough to prevent it from happening. "We could have saved her," Kamal Effendi Hashim, the crime analyst, told me. I believe him.
Selamat Hari Raya, nonetheless. But do take care of your kids. Me, I'll hold my little ones' hands tight, and watch them play with the bunga api tonight. Tomorrow, I'll help them count the ang pow money. I will share in their happiness for their happiness is mine.
But it will be a short Raya holiday. A small group of Malaysians met the other night and started what we will call the Citizens for Nurin Alert initiative. We have agreed to meet again soon after Raya.
We said we won't let Nurin die in vain
If I am being hard on myself, I'm not alone. Kamal, the photojournalist-turned-cop-turned-crime analyst has started www.kamalfndhashim.blogspot to deal with his demons and help his conscience, in the hope that he will not fail another kid again.
Read his debut posting In Memory of my sisters, dedicated to nurin, nursafira liyana bte jaafar, nurul huda abdul ghani, audrey mellisa, nurul hanis kamil, nur syakila ram choo, farah deeba rustam, haserawati saridi, canny ong, siti nadira budah, amd nur shazwani dahalan, among others.
p.s. I'll keep you posted on the Citizens for Nurin Alert initiative.
In the meantime, Selamat Hari Raya. Maaf zahir & batin.