“He was looking forward to this Mount Kinabalu trip,” shared Syafiq Abdul Ghani, a close friend of Muhammad Daanish Amran, the Singaporean adventure guide who lost his life in the Sabah Quake last week. That was the last time Syafiq spoke to Daanish.
The 22-year-old’s final trip was with Tanjong Katong Primary School on an expedition. Along with seven others from Singapore, he did not make it down the mountain.
Syafiq met Daanish in 2011 when they were both volunteers with a Malay youth literary association, 4PM. They soon became fast friends. The group of volunteers often participated in activities together and had regular gatherings. “He was always excited about doing his job, he was always happy, he was always looking forward to every next project, every next event,” Syafiq told Channel NewsAsia.
Another volunteer from the association, Mysara Mohamad Aljaru, remembers Daanish with equal fondness. “From the mischievous grin he always had on his face to our inside jokes and ‘deep talks’, he always never failed to annoy yet cheer me up when I was feeling down. Daanish was someone who accepted you as you were, I never once felt I had to be someone else around him.”
On Monday (Jun 8), the Day of National Remembrance for the Sabah earthquake victims, both Syafiq and Mysara attended Daanish’s burial at the Muslim Cemetery at Lim Chu Kang. The burial took place in the morning between the hours of 9am and 11am.
“His father had a stoic look on his face,” said Charles Phang, a producer of INSIGHT, who filmed the video. “He definitely seemed as if he had accepted what had happened.”
Daanish, an eldest child and graduate of Nanyang Polytechnic, had been working as a freelance adventure instructor for 2-3 years. According to his friends, he was passionate about the outdoors and leading people.
For the full story on the Sabah Quake, don’t miss the special episode of INSIGHT: When the Earth Rumbles this Thursday (June 11), 8pm on Channel NewsAsia.