KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 8 : ‘Gone but not forgotten’ would be the most appropriate adieu for SK and SMK Convent Bukit Nanas’ Pak Din who yesterday left his beloved family and the school he had served for almost 20 years as a much-appreciated security guard, to return to his Creator.
But why was he suddenly ‘trending’ on social media (Twitter)?
Ever since news of his demise was shared by his daughter Zulzailiza Kamarudin, 36, thousands of netizens had been posting messages of condolences to the family and recalling especially their fond memories of Pak Din, whose actual name was Kamarudin Basri, 67.
Pak Din breathed his last at Kuala Lumpur Hospital as a result of heart disease complications and leukaemia.
Clearly surprised, Zulzailiza said she never expected her father’s death to become a topic among netizens particularly former students of the school and their family members who shared about the deeds of her father.
“I did not expect the news to become viral,” she told Bernama.
SMK Convent Bukit Nanas principal Rosemand A. Lawrence said Pak Din’s loss was heartily felt by the school’s teachers and students.
“We miss him. The girls (students) really love him. His passing was a big loss to the school,” she said.
Bahasa Melayu teacher Nor Aini Mohd Hol, 57, described Pak Din as the school’s hero “because he was not merely our security guard; he was trusted by parents and loved by the teachers and students because he had a good heart”.
“We had gotten used to seeing Pak Din control the traffic everyday at Jalan Bukit Nanas; in fact he was always ready to assist when something breaks down, such as when a car could not start or had a punctured tyre, and so on.
Former student Shaza Mhd Husam Eddin Al Muzayen, 24, who studied at the school from 2008 until 2012, remembered Pak Din as “always ready with a smile”.
Pak Din, she recalled, was also “famous” for the shrill of his whistle, which he sometimes would blow as a joke, just to jolt the teachers and students, after which he would have a good laugh.
“Pak Din was always around. From early morning to evening, he would be the first person you would see coming to school and the last person students would see when they go back.
“He was always helping the students and teachers. If we needed help putting up banners, Pak Din would help. If we needed to put up decorations, Pak Din would help. If we need to fix something, Pak Din would help,” she said.
Meanwhile, Bernama sub-editor Melati Mohd Ariff, whose daughter also studied at the school, said Pak Din was always vigilant when it came to the students’ safety, and an affable person.
“For five years from 2008, every evening while waiting for my daughter, Pak Din would chat with me and the other parents. The Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve is just next to the school and monkeys would come and cling to the utility poles and Pak Din would shoo them away,”she reminisced.
Via Twitter, former and current students of the schools hailed Pak Din as their hero and ‘the legendary guard’ because his deeds went beyond those of a security guard.
@airawrrr, for example, remembered Pak Din cleaning the school’s fish pond, climbing the school to hang a banner, chasing away monkeys from the school compound and keeping her company when her father was late in fetching her.
@liltdsnfatbelly tweeted, “Pak din never said no whenever we asked for help. I still remember he went to the Bukit Nanas forest to look for the woods all by himself for our drama props and we were the champion thanks to him… We lost CBN’s great hero.”