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Jakarta Post

Indonesian Christchurch mosque victims are well-loved aircraft engineer, artist who shielded son from bullets

  • Karina M. Tehusijarana

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sun, March 17, 2019   /   01:35 pm
Indonesian Christchurch mosque victims are well-loved aircraft engineer, artist who shielded son from bullets Vehicles pass underneath the footbridge in Senayan, South Jakarta, where the colors of New Zealand’s flag were lit up on Friday. Jakarta stands in solidarity with the Muslim community in New Zealand and Christchurch following the deadly terror attacks that killed at least 50 people. (JP/File-Jakarta administration)

Three Indonesians were victims of the attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Friday. One has been confirmed dead, while two others remain hospitalized.

Lilik Abdul Hamid, a 50-year-old aircraft engineer for Air New Zealand, who had previously been thought missing, was confirmed to have died by Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi on Saturday.

Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihirojiun [We belong to God and to God we shall return]. My deepest condolences over the death of Bapak Lilik Abdul Hamid, an Indonesian citizen who was a victim of the terrorist attack on Al-Noor Mosque in Christchurch,” she wrote on her official Twitter account. She added that the Indonesian ambassador to New Zealand was in Christchurch to assist Lilik’s family.

A nephew of Lilik’s posted on Facebook about his death, thanking everyone for their prayers and asking for forgiveness on behalf of the deceased.

Other posts on social media described Lilik as a valued member of the Indonesian community in Christchurch.

“Every time guests from Indonesia come to visit, especially ustaz [Islamic teachers], the departed and his wife would always welcome them, not only to stay over at their house, but also to take them sightseeing,” one Indonesian living in Christchurch wrote.

Air New Zealand chief executive officer Christopher Luxon said Lilik had been a valued member of the airliner’s engineering team for 16 years.

“His loss will be deeply felt by the team,” he said on Sunday as quoted by

"Lilik, his wife, Nina, and their children, Zhania and Gerin, are well-known and loved by our close-knit team of engineers and their families who are now doing all they can to support the family alongside our leadership team and the airline's special assistance team.”

Meanwhile, Zulfirman Syah and his son Averroes, 2, were injured in the attack at the nearby Linwood mosque, but both were in a stable condition as of Saturday.

Zulfirman’s wife, Alta Marie Sacra, said her husband had shielded their son during the attack, causing him to sustain “much more severe injuries”.

“He is in a stable condition following the extensive exploratory and reconstructive surgery he had earlier today,” Alta wrote on her Facebook page on Saturday. “While he is still in the intensive care unit at this stage, he will be moved to the general ward whenever it is deemed appropriate [likely in the next day or so].”

She added that her son also had minor surgery to extract shrapnel and was checked for internal injuries.

“He is recovering nicely and has been cheerful while keeping the staff in the children's ward entertained with his talkative and energetic nature,” she said.

A friend of Alta’s has set up a GoFundMe page to help cover the family’s medical and household expenses.

Zulfirman, a native of Padang, West Sumatra, graduated from the Indonesia Institute of Art (ISI) Yogyakarta in 2006. Describing himself as “a dad and career artist of 20 years”, he has had his work included in art exhibitions at the Siena Art Institute in Italy and the National Art Museum of China in Beijing.

“For me, creating art is an expression of my soul, born from my aesthetic experience,” he wrote in his profile at the Saatchi Art online gallery. “With each new work, I strive to use my technique and vision to make an impact on the evolution of art.”

Padang Mayor Mahyeldi Ansharullah visited Zulfirman’s family in Nanggalo district on Saturday to pray for his recovery.

“We in Padang pray that Zulfirman Syah’s second operation in New Zealand goes well,” he said as quoted by