We salute you, Muhamad Syukree Hussain
Photo and tribute by Rakyat@work
I was shocked, then sadness engulfed me, and now I feel a sense of regret for not taking the time to get to know him better. I quickly sent a text message to all my friends; they were equally shocked as well. Why?
You see, when we attended the Abolish ISA vigils from the very beginning, everyone was like part of a new family, the Barisan Rakyat. All of us come in different shapes, colours and sizes.
So you go round and get to meet new folks. Some are easier to know; others take time to open up; that’s understandable.
At every vigil, we have an opportunity to listen to new speakers and its enriching especially when the sharing is from the heart. Views are always respected though they may be from a different perspective. It’s a lot of fun when you are standing in the rain, though it may not be everyone’s cup of tea.
The PJ vigils have been blessed in that the supporters are gaining momentum; no matter what the weather conditions are like, over 200 people turn up. Last week, we had more than 12 first-time visitors as we marked our tenth vigil. Most of these vigils have been enriched by Syukree’s presence.
Though I don’t know much about him personally, Syukree always came with a mask on his face. Yes, a real mask, the one Halloween kind. Strangely enough, last Sunday, attention was focused on him. He used to walk around and mingle with the crowd and we had got used to his light-hearted, fun-filled gestures. Coincidently, as Zorro was speaking, he sat just right up where Zorro was addressing the crowd. Zorro, for the first and sadly the last time, introduced Syukree to the crowd.
Here I am now, wondering what’s all this about. In retrospect, here we have a hardcore supporter in the vigils; we hardly heard from him, and yet he entertained the crowd with his mask, and best of all, always obliged those with cameras. And suddenly, he is missed! I do really hope and want to believed that Syukree knows exactly why he attended the vigils. The last mask he wore spoke volumes about his purpose and his personal crusade. Take a look at his face for yourself! He knew what the rakyat were feeling and what they were going through.
Perhaps, just perhaps, to him, action meant more than words. My consolation is that Syukree indeed made a stand for what he believed in and the truth has set him free. His contribution to the vigils has been immeasurable and he will be sadly missed by us all.
Syukree has a name and he has a face that God will recognise and He will bless his soul.
Now, my heart is determined and resolute. The vigils must go on and the ISA must be abolished! I simply and humbly invite you to come to the next PJ vigil and experience it for yourselves.