The Jakarta Post
Global Peace Mission (GPM) Malaysia has said it plans to name a 7-year-old boy with disabilities from Lombok Island, West Nusa Tenggara, a hero for helping foreign tourists evacuate from the area when an earthquake jolted the island recently.
Taufik, a deaf and mute boy from Senaru village, North Lombok regency, assisted Malaysian tourists in finding a route out of Tiu Kelep Waterfall when a 5.4-magnitude earthquake occurred and triggered landslides on Sunday.
“Insya Allah [God willing] we will name him […] a symbol of heroism and bravery for saving their lives when they needed help the most,” said GPM Malaysia chief operation officer Syahrir Azfar bin Saleh as quoted by Antara on Thursday.
The earthquake caused landslides in the regency, killing at least two Malaysians and injuring more than 30—most of whom were foreign and domestic tourists.
Wong Siew Lim, a Malaysian who suffered minor injuries to her arm, said Taufik had helped her and other tourists evacuate from the area safely after the earthquake-triggered landslides occurred around the waterfall area when they were sightseeing.
“While he was being carried, Taufik assisted us by showing the way out from the location [of the waterfall],” she said, adding that she was very thankful to the boy.
Syahrir said the GPM was making efforts to gain support from the Malaysian kingdom so that the boy could be named a hero in Malaysia. The boy’s heroic tale would also be told to the royal family, he added.
“We also want to create a chance for [Taufik] to live a normal life. Perhaps we can take Taufik to Malaysia,” he said, adding that the GPM would carry out efforts to provide Taufik with medical assistance.
The organization would also tell Malaysians not to be afraid to visit Lombok, Syahrir said.