Thinking Allowed

By Mariam Mokhtar

Nursyuhada Johari, a 20-year-old student at the UiTM Permatang Pauh campus died after her throat was slashed by a 25-year-old cook, as she drove the car they were travelling in. At around noon, a black Proton Perdana stopped in the middle of the North-South highway, close to the 228.2km mark, at Bukit Gantang, near Taiping and Nursyuhada staggered out and collapsed onto the road.

Her alleged assailant dragged her to the side of the road, before escaping into the jungle. He emerged shortly afterwards, to retrieve his handphone, but motorists who had come to Nursyuhada’s rescue held him, before handing him over to the police. Sadly, Nursyuhada died from her wounds, at the Kuala Kangsar hospital, two hours later.

The drama unfolded around 11am that morning, when it was believed that the undergraduate in Hotel Management and Tourism had been abducted at knifepoint, by the man, who had sneaked into the campus.

Nursyuhada’s mother, 44-year-old Nor Azlina Dawari, from Kulim, was disappointed to hear the statement of the Deputy Vice Chancellor Student Affairs Division UiTM, Professor Dr Abdullah Mohamad Said, who allegedly said that Nursyuhada had voluntarily gone with the suspect into his car. Nor Azlina said, “I have retained the message from my daughter’s friend, which told of a man brandishing a knife, and forcing my daughter to enter the car. How does UiTM know that my daughter joined the suspect voluntarily? We are disappointed with the statement from the university.”

Nor Azlina claimed that security was lax in the campus and alleged that her daughter claimed that anyone could enter the campus just by waving at the security guards. She hopes that the campus authorities will beef-up security, to stop further incidents.

One wonders why more was not done to prevent the abduction of Nursyuhada? Her mother claimed that she was abducted in broad daylight and her friends witnessed the suspect brandishing a knife. There were also claims that the friends had tried to stop Nursyuhada from going along with the suspect.

So, why did her friends not alert campus security guards as well as phoning Nursyuhada’s parents? Why did no one bother to call the police? They must have noticed the car she had left in. Even if they had not taken note of the registration number, they could have noted the make, model and colour of car.

Malaysia prides itself on having a large number of CCTVs. Surely, the campus security could have accessed further information from the CCTV.

The abduction allegedly happened at 11am. By noon, Nursyuhada had driven several miles away and been fatally knifed.

If the police had been notified, roadblocks could have been set up, the suspect’s car spotted and perhaps, a tragedy averted. An early notification and the provision of as much information as is possible to the police could have prepared them and ensured a successful rescue operation. The friends could have told police what Nursyuhada was wearing, perhaps, given them a photo of her and the suspect. They could have described his demeanour; did he appear calm or anxious, angry or tense?

Nursyuhada’s parents and her family will grieve for her, but the authorities are rather callous to claim that Nursyuhada voluntarily agreed to accompany her killer. The least they could do is to increase security and prevent another disaster. It may also be a lesson for the rest of us. If we witness an abduction, we should contact the police and furnish them with as much information as possible, to help the person who has been abducted.