On Tuesday (Jun 16), three mountain guides met the Singaporean schoolboy whose life they helped save following the earthquake that struck Sabah on Jun 5.
Rizuan Kauhinin, Simon Gohinmin and Mazlee Liong touched down in Singapore on Monday night (Jun 15). The next day, they were reunited with Tanjong Katong Primary School (TKPS) student El Wafeeq El Jauzy, whom they had helped carry down Mount Kinabalu following the 5.9-magnitude quake. Also at the reunion was another TKPS student who was rescued - Arnaav Karan Chabria, 11.
"We slept comfortably. I dreamt I was climbing," said Rizuan ahead of the meeting.
"I will shake Wafeeq's hand and ask the boy about his condition," said Mazlee on the way to TKPS. "The last time I had a chance to ask the boy his name and age, but this time I will ask more and get to know him more."
Wafeeq and his family wore customised shirts, which they intended to present to the Sabahan guides as gifts. "We wanted to give the guides something meaningful. So we came up with the idea of soccer jerseys with Wafeeq's and the guides' names," said his mother.
Added the 12-year-old student: "I made the T-shirts to symbolise the courage of the Sabah mountain guides."
The reunion – arranged as part of an upcoming Channel NewsAsia documentary, Heart of Courage – saw the guides, the two boys and their families meet behind closed doors on Tuesday morning (Jun 16). This is the first time the guides have travelled out of Malaysia, and they will spend two days sightseeing in Singapore.
The most vocal out of the three guides, Rizuan said, "The earthquake that happened affected a lot of people. The boys endured a lot of trauma and you need to give them time to get better. They lost a lot of their friends and I hope that they will be strong to continue their way of life."
"I'm not just the only guide to help the boys. It was a big operation that involved all the mountain guides," he added.