KUALA LUMPUR: Family members of the late Muhammad Haziq Mohd Tarmizi, 17, who was killed in a shooting tragedy in Christchurch, New Zealand, on March 15, were touched by the support from Malaysians during the Solidarity for Peace gathering here today.
Haziq’s aunt, Zarina Shuib, expressed gratitude for the opportunity to participate in the gathering with fellow citizens, Bernama reported.
“Indeed, it has been a trying time for our family members in New Zealand, where our brother (Mohd Tarmizi) was injured and our nephew (Muhammad Haziq) left us forever due to the attack.
“Our family thanks the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa for visiting our brother there and to get first-hand information on the situation in Christchurch,” she said, representing Haziq’s family during the gathering at Dataran Merdeka.
“Despite this difficult test, we as a family have accepted Haziq’s fate. We support this effort of solidarity for peace and harmony among all Malaysians, irrespective of race and religion,” she said while holding back tears.
On Thursday, the foreign ministry confirmed that Haziq was among the 50 people killed in the tragedy in Christchurch.
The victim’s father, Mohd Tarmizi Shuib, 42, was injured during the terrorist attack at the Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Mosque.
Two other Malaysians, Muhammad Nazril Hisham Omar and Rahimi Ahmad, were also injured.
Meanwhile, New Zealand High Commissioner to Malaysia Hunter Nottage said his country is touched by Malaysians getting together in solidarity with the world in the aftermath of the Christchurch mosque shootings.
Addressing a crowd at the Solidarity for Peace rally at Dataran Merdeka, Nottage said New Zealanders are thankful for Malaysians standing together with them in their moment of grief.
“We held a similar gathering in Christchurch yesterday and tears flowed. We are sorry for the incident and thankful for the support from Malaysia,” he said.
Nottage, who greeted the crowd in Malay, said New Zealand was still in shock over the shooting incidents during Friday prayers.
Australian High Commissioner Andrew Goledzinowski, who also attended the rally, said “terrorism has no nationality”.
“In this case, the (accused) person is an Australian. But if his action was to separate us, then he has failed,” he said, referring to the suspect who has been charged with murder.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mujahid Yusof Rawa, who had just returned after attending a special prayer service in Christchurch, told the participants at the rally that Malaysia must defend itself from extremist views.
“Violence does not come from religion,” he said.
A crowd estimated to be close to 1,000 attended the rally organised by the Prime Minister’s Department (Islamic Religious Affairs Division) and the Committee to Promote Inter-Religious Understanding and Harmony with cooperation from the Civil Society Organisation (CSO).
Besides Cabinet members and elected representatives, inter-faith religious leaders, including Federal Territories mufti Zulkifli Al-Bakri, Catholic Archbishop Julian Leow, Hindu Sangam president RS Mohan and Malaysian Gurdwaras Council president Jagir Singh were present.