PETALING JAYA: Muhd Haziq Tarmizi, the last of the 50 casualties of the attack on two mosques in a New Zealand city to be positively identified, has been laid to rest.
The 17-year-old was listed as missing for nearly a week after the attack. This makes him the first Malaysian casualty in a terror attack abroad.
The news was conveyed to theSun by Kapiti Coast mayor K. Gurunathan, a former Malaysian journalist who has now settled in New Zealand.
Last Friday, a man armed with a semi-automatic rifle walked into the Al-Noor Mosque – a single-storey complex on Deens Avenue in Christchurch – and fired indiscriminately at the 150 worshippers who were performing Friday prayers.
He later attacked the Linwood Mosque before he was nabbed by the police.
Apart from the 50 who were killed in the attack, another 50 were wounded, some seriously.
Haziq was with his father Mohd Tarmizi Shuib, 42, and his 12-year-old brother Haris when the attack happened.
Tarmizi was shot in the back and was immobilised until paramedics arrive to take him to the hospital. However, his two sons were seen fleeing into the compound of the mosque.
Haris was found later in a state of shock and was sent to the children’s ward of a hospital for trauma. However, Haziq was nowhere to be seen and was listed as missing.
The other Malaysians who were also injured in the attack are Penang-born Rahimi Ahmad, 39, and Mohd Nazril Hisham Omar, 46, from Kelantan.
They are expected to go for several rounds of surgery to remove shrapnel from their bodies.
Haziq was laid to rest at the Muslim section of the Memorial Park Cemetery in Bromley after zohor prayers.
Members of his family, who are from Kedah, have informed Wisma Putra that they needed to grieve in private and for the media to respect their request.
Bayan Lepas state assemblyman Azrul Mahathir Aziz, who was in Christchurch with Penang state executive councillor Phee Boon Poh to offer support last week, said special prayers would be held for Haziq in Penang.
In response to the attack, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said there were plans to ban military-style semi-automatic rifles under stronger gun laws that would be introduced soon.
About 70,000 New Zealanders have signed a petition to show their objection to such weapons.
New Zealand Police (National) Commissioner Mike Bush also commended his “courageous” officers who arrested the gunman just 21 minutes after they were alerted.
“We believe we managed to stop him while he was on the way for another attack. As a result, lives have been saved,” Bush said.