PETALING JAYA, Sept 4 (Bernama) — Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said today the shooting death of a Malaysian journalist in war-torn Somalia should not demoralise fellow newsmen in the country because providing coverage in high-risk areas was part and parcel of journalism.
Describing the slain journalist, cameraman Noramfaizul Mohd Nor of BernamaTV, as a national hero, the prime minister said he admired his enthusiasm and perseverance in discharging his duty.
“I was impressed by the fact that Noramfaizul was adventurous and full of enthusiasm in that he frequently accompanied humanitarian missions abroad and, in the face of risks, courageously overcame impediments to send back excellent coverage for the Malaysian people,” he said.
Najib spoke to reporters at the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) base in Subang near here after the arrival of Noramfaizul’s remains and the 54 other members of the humanitarian aid mission to famine-hit Somalia organised by the Putera 1Malaysia Club.
“Noramfaizul’s enthusiasm and dedication should inspire us to organise more humanitarian aid missions,” he said.
Najib said the spirit displayed by Noramfaizul had elevated Malaysia’s standing as a nation always at the forefront in providing aid to countries suffering from calamities.
Noramfaizul, 39, was killed on Friday in Mogadishu after he was shot while travelling in a four-wheel-drive vehicle with other Malaysian media personnel covering the humanitarian aid mission in famine-hit Somalia by the Putera 1Malaysia Club.
Asked to comment on the work of journalists in high-risk areas, Najib said these were usually zones of conflict.
“Of course, there won’t be any risk if we go to an area where there is no more conflict. However, to provide up-to-date coverage in a war zone, one has to face many risks. There will be many warring factions, and their people will be armed.
“Weapons in the hands of irresponsible and unprofessional people can give rise to many risks even when we are not their targets,” he said.
Najib said the unexpected shooting involving Noramfaizul could be categorised as collateral damage. Collateral damage is unintentional damage to civil property and civilian casualties caused by military operations.
The prime minister extended his condolences to Noramfaizul’s family and said the government would provide assistance.
He said the government had decided to bear the educational expenses of Noramfaizul’s two sons, Mohd Irfan, eight, and Mohd Naufal, three.
Noramfaizul was the eldest of six siblings, and the only son in the family.
Source : Bernama