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Have I said farewell for the last time to my sister?

PETALING JAYA: On Friday evening I rushed home from the theantdaily office in Petaling Jaya at 6pm.

I had promised my younger sister, Hajah Suhaili Mustafa, 30, that I would send her to KLIA as she had to catch the MH370 Boeing 777-200 flight to Beijing.

It’s been a while since I had last seen her recently. Both of us had been preoccupied with work, and with life in general.

When I arrived at our mother’s house at around 7pm, Suhaili was still outside buying supplies that she wanted to bring with her.

She was to stay in Beijing for a month, on assignment to help in the construction of a semi-conductor plant. Suhaili works as an industrial engineer in Petaling Jaya.

I waited for her until 9pm. She got home carrying huge luggage containing clothes, instant noodles, rendang, as well as salted eggs.

“Adik, are you going off for work, or are you hosting a kenduri?” I joked with her.

On our drive from Shah Alam to Sepang, we talked, mostly about the sort of work she expected to do in Beijing.

She told me the work is tiring, but such is working life.

I asked her to buy me one of those knock off, made-in-China smartphones when she’s there.

“Easier on my wallet,” I explained.

My sister is never one to shirk her duties as a daughter. All this while, she was the one who had been accompanying our elderly mother wherever she needed to be.

Early morning on March 8, I received a phone call from ibu, telling me that my sister’s plane had disappeared off the radar.

We rushed to the observation deck, on Level 5 of KLIA at 10.30am.

After waiting for hours, the waiting families were informed by an official that two next-of-kin of each passenger would be flown to the location where the plane was said to have crashed. We were asked to get our international passport ready for this purpose.

At 5.30pm, we were visited by a number of VIPs such as the prime minister, the deputy prime minister, and the minister of international trade and industry.

The family members were then taken to a hotel in Putrajaya for the night.

The following morning, they were expected to be flown to the location, which up until now has not yet been determined.

At this trying time, I find comfort and strength in the words of encouragement and consolation extended by colleagues, relatives and friends to me and my family.

But truthfully, we are prepared for Allah’s will, be it good or bad news.

My sister is a kind-hearted person, and I would miss her dearly if things turned out for the worst.

Have I said my last farewell to my beloved sister, the youngest among my siblings? Time will tell.

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