BUTTERWORTH: Sundry shop owner Mohd Shukri Saad’s suicide from the Penang Bridge last month is still a hot topic in his village — Lahar Yooi in Tasik Gelugor near here.
Shukri, 38, took his life by jumping off Penang’s Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah Bridge on Oct 26.
His motorcycle and handphone were found at Km11.3 of the bridge on the island-bound side.
Prior to his death, Shukri posted a lengthy note on Facebook, voicing out his frustration at being caught by the Customs Department for allegedly selling RM360 worth of illegal cigarettes.
He said he had spent a lot of money on his case and expected to be sent to jail for the offence, but lamented that others, accused of bigger crimes, were going free.
He claimed the “cruel government” was victimising him although he was only a small store owner. He did not want his children to be called “a prisoner’s children”.
He was supposed to be in court at the time he is believed to have jumped from the bridge.
Although some of the residents in Lahar Yooi village did not approve of his deed, the majority of those who knew the man understood the reason for his tragic decision.
Some in Umno were said to have turned a blind eye to Shukri’s death as it had potential to damage the party.
PAS is believed to be doing the same, but more because his death was due to suicide. In Islam, death by suicide is deemed to be one of the biggest sins.
Lahar Yooi residents said Shukri was actively involved in community work.
“He was a good person. He blended in well with the rest of the community and was also very active in PAS’s youth movement,” said Shukri’s neighbour, Jailani.
“However, Shukri had a tendency to be extreme and determined in his actions.”
Jailani described Shukri’s death as a “sacrifice” that has highlighted the pains and sufferings felt by the public today.
Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa, Penang Amanah’s head, said Shukri was a victim of the system, just like others in this country.
However, he said Shukri’s suicide was not the best way to express disappointment or face challenges.
Shukri’s wife meanwhile just wants to see the news of her husband’s suicide die down.
“I want to look to the future and forget about this,” she told FMT, adding she was in the process of taking legal action against a media outlet that had labelled her husband a cigarette “smuggler”.
Amanah, along with DAP, PKR and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM), are holding a special forum in Penang this Thursday, to commemorate what they call the “Lahar Yooi Tragedy”.
Mujahid, Penang DAP vice-chairman Zairil Khir Johari and former deputy minister Sharif Omar are among those expected to be present.
The forum is titled “Let me sacrifice for Malaysia”, a sentence Shukri wrote prior to his death.
“If we ignore what has happened, his sacrifice to the country will be a waste,” said Rosli Hassan, coordinator for Sungai Dua assemblyman Muhamad Yusoff Mohd Noor, whose constituency covers Lahar Yooi.