Abell Road vigil draws sympathisers from all over Kuching
SYMPATHISERS FROM ALL OVER Kuching gathered together at a candlelight vigil at the Abell Road bus stop to express their condolences over the loss of British medical students Neil Dalton and Aidan Brunger.
Organised by 1BFF Pending Recreation Sports Club, sympathisers lay down flowers along the curb in front of the bus stop while others lit candles to express their sadness over what happened.
According to 1BFF advisor Audie Chua, the NGO took it upon themselves to organise the vigil as it was part of Pending area which fell under its purview.
Among those attending the candlelight vigil was sympathiser Felicia Chiew who worked at the SIB church across the street from where the incident happened. The double-murder – the first time any foreigner has been involved in a fatal incident here in Kuching – left her shocked and devastated. She feels that things have changed in the city.
“This could have been prevented if the bistro was not open until 4 am and I am not sure if they are allowed to be open until that time,” she said. “I heard that they (the victims) quarrelled with the locals but they had no right to kill them.”
A sympathiser who requested anonymity said that throughout the 10 or more years living and working in Sarawak, she had never heard of foreigners being attacked or killed here. “Even the way that they were killed was very cruel.”
Since she lives across from the bus stop where the two met their tragic end, she managed to catch a glimpse of the crime scene Wednesday morning.
“Seeing both bodies lying there was really sad because they came here to travel and study.”
Social Development Minister Tan Sri William Mawan who arrived at the candle lit vigil around 7.30 pm added his own condolences to the families of the victim after laying down a bouquet of flowers and lighting a candle.
“We condemn this in the strongest terms,” he said of the unprecedented and senseless killing. “These two young men, their lives have been cut short, and it is most unfortunate that this thing happened.”
Aside from that Mawan also commended the police for being very alert and managing to apprehend the suspects. In addition to that he was also grateful for the cooperation of the public which he thinks is very crucial and important to ensure that this thing would not happen again.
Mawan also stressed that the incident was not reflective of Sarawakian culture and nature.
“We do have laws in force that would ensure justice. As of now I do not have sufficient information to summarize who those people are and what contributed to what happened,” he informed.
As for professional yoyo player Ryan Han, he said: “It’s not worth seeing; I mean as a Sarawakian we should not do this, so I was quite shocked when this thing happened.
“This is Sarawak, it is supposed to be a peaceful place, but unfortunately this really happened.” He opined that youngsters should avoid hanging out at nighttime after 2am. “After 2 am just be safe at home and have some rest, it’s for the best.”