Malaysia

It’s painful… but I accept my daughter is gone, says policeman father of MH370 passenger

It has been six weeks since Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 vanished with 239 people on board and with each passing day, their families' hopes are diminishing. The Malaysian Insider kicks off a series of interviews with the grieving families in the hope that Malaysians will never forget those on board  MH370.


Norliakmar with her father, Abdul Hamid Ramlan (with black songkok), mother, Sarah Nor, husband Razahan Zamani and the rest of her family members on her wedding day. Norliakmar and Razahan were on board MH370 and were on their way to a holiday to Beijing when the plane disappeared on March 8. – Picture courtesy of Abdul Hamid Ramlan, April 22, 2014.Norliakmar with her father, Abdul Hamid Ramlan (with black songkok), mother, Sarah Nor, husband Razahan Zamani and the rest of her family members on her wedding day. Norliakmar and Razahan were on board MH370 and were on their way to a holiday to Beijing when the plane disappeared on March 8. – Picture courtesy of Abdul Hamid Ramlan, April 22, 2014.It has been 46 days since he first heard the devastating news that his daughter and her husband were on board the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

Since then, Abdul Hamid Ramlan's world has been filled with sorrow as hope turned to despair with each passing day and every unsuccessful search.

It's hard for him and his family to have closure when there is no concrete evidence of what had happened to his daughter, Norliakmar, 33, and her husband of one year, Muhammad Razahan Zamani, 23.

But Hamid knows that he has to accept reality, as painful as it may be.

“Every father, every parent would always wish the best for their children and that, nothing bad would happen to them.

"But in this situation, as disappointed and frustrated as I am, I have accepted that my daughter has long gone.

"All I want, no matter how painful it will be, is to have whatever is left of her so that we can give her a proper burial,” said Hamid.

Norliakmar and Razahan were among 239 people on board flight MH370 which disappeared from the radar en route to Beijing from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on March 8.

Until today, a massive international search and rescue effort has failed to locate any sign of the aircraft.

The search is focused onNorliakmar Abdul Hamid and Razahan Zamani on their wedding day. – Picture courtesy of Abdul Hamid Ramlan, April 22, 2014.Norliakmar Abdul Hamid and Razahan Zamani on their wedding day. – Picture courtesy of Abdul Hamid Ramlan, April 22, 2014. the southern Indian Ocean where the plane is believed to have crashed.

Hamid, a 56-year-old sergeant attached to the Sentul police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, is relying on his training as a police officer to help him cope and accept the inevitable even as he and his family had been going through a rollercoaster of emotions since his only daughter – the eldest of four children – and her husband were reported missing.

“As a Muslim, I believe in God’s will. I also believe the facts presented to the families by the authorities.

"We were hoping. I was. But as a policeman, I learnt to read the clues and facts and the facts do not show anything positive.

"The hope which was there in the beginning has gone,” said Hamid who had served in the police force for 33 years.

Although he and his three sons have accepted that Norliakmar was likely dead, it was harder to convince his wife, Sarah Nor, 55.

“Norliakmar and her mother were very close. My wife is still clinging on to the hope that our daughter is alive and being held captive.

"She believes that the plane was hijacked. But I told her that if it was, surely we would have known something by now but there’s nothing. No one has come forward to claim responsibility for the plane's disappearance,” he said.

Hamid said Sarah has been seeing a counsellor regularly because she has been emotionally unstable since the aircraft went missing.

The pressure, too, has been tremendous for Hamid who said that his well-meaning colleagues have been trying to cheer him up by trying to stay positive but to him, they were giving him false hope.

“I can take leave from work. My superior is supportive but I want to keep on working because I feel useless staying at home.

"But it is hard to be at work, too, as my colleagues have been telling me that the search teams will find the plane and my daughter soon.

"There is no hope. The hope was gone when the prime minister said that the aircraft's signal was last detected in the southern Indian Ocean.”

He said the fact was that no one could survive in that kind of weather and there was also no nearby land mass where the plane could have landed.

Despite what he believed, Hamid said he understood why many families still clung on to hope.

“The government, during the earlier stage of the investigation, had given us hope. The inconsistent data and information fed to the families had caused a lot of confusion and anger.  This is why it is hard for them to believe the information and data presented to them even though it is the truth. I do not blame them,” he said.

Hamid said Norliakmar was a soft-spoken and filial daughter and was close not only to her mother but also her three younger brothers.

Norliakmar and her husband Razahan were among 38 Malaysians on board flight MH370.

There had been many theories and speculation following the plane's disappearance but authorities had said that there was no evidence to support them.

Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein had said last week that the search authorities would have to regroup and reconsider their next course of action soon if there were no positive results from the current search operations. – April 22, 2014.

Comments