During the Sabah Quake, this picture of a local mountain guide carrying a young boy over his shoulder to bring him to safety went viral. The mountain guide in the photo was later identified as Mohd Rizuan Kauhinin. The boy he rescued, El Wafeeq El Jauzy, was a student of Tanjong Katong Primary School (TKPS)
Mohd Rizuan did receive a number of invitations to visit the boy he rescued in Singapore. When asked about the invitations, he said,
“I want to go to Singapore, but not now, maybe later when things have calmed down. However, I do not want to go alone, I want to go with my two friends who also helped in carrying the boy down,”
He was also uncomfortable with the spotlight being on him and that the other guides should also be given the same treatment.
“I am not anyone important, please! My fellow guides and I worked equally hard on the day of the earthquake to get the victims down. Some even died and I don’t know why the limelight is on me alone.”
His desire to be reunited with the boy and also to honour his fellow mountain guides materialized this morning as he and two other mountain climbers met El Wafeeq and his family for the first time after rescuing the boy.
The reunion was scheduled to be held at TKPS – where Wafeeq studied. On his way to TKPS, Rizuan said,
“I will shake Wafeeq’s hand and ask the boy about his condition. 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 were just as ready to meet the mountain guides – Wafeeq had printed special t-shirts for the three men he called his ‘saviours’.
“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, Mdm Sabrena El Huda.
Wafeeq also added that he “made the T-shirts to symbolise the courage of the Sabah mountain guides.”
The special tees were not only presented to the guides, as Wafeeq too was clad in one.
Wafeeq’s family were brimming with joy at the reunion.
“I feel very delighted – the whole family does – seeing them in person. When we spoke to each other, we shared our stories as if we had known each other for a long time.
I wouldn’t see this meeting as a closure but a start. I think this sense of brotherly love will continue beyond this episode.”
When the inevitable question of whether Wafeeq still wanted to return to Mount Kinabalu – this time to reach the summit – arose, Mdm Sabrina answered with a smile.
“He is a very determined boy.” Wafeeq still wants to reach the summit, she added. “I think he has found a very good guide”