Thursday March 7, 2013
Slain cop laid to rest
By ZORA CHAN
KUCHING: Words of comfort and support as well as prayers from the state government, friends and well-wishers have given the family members of a slain policeman much-needed strength during their bereavement.
ASP Michael Padel, 36, from Serian near here was one of six policemen killed in an attack by Sulu gunmen in Semporna, Sabah.
Uncle Maurice Budit said the family was very grateful to the state government for giving his nephew a state funeral at the Heroes Grave here.
“The family, parents, sisters and in-laws of the late Michael, as well as the people of Kampung Bidayuh Tebakang and our Bidayuh community, are truly and deeply grateful and appreciative of this recognition and acknowledgement of the sacrifice of the highest order of the late Michael,” he said at the burial service yesterday.
Maurice said they were also grateful to the police force and Royal Malaysian Air Force for bringing Michael’s remains home for burial and assisting in the funeral service.
They also thanked villagers who helped out in the wake and funeral mass in Serian.
Maurice said Michael’s death was not in vain as he died defending the sovereignty of the country.
“He died in great courage, as a warrior would. To be in the police has been his proud ambition, to serve and defend our country against our enemies, as his late father did.
“May his soul rest in peace with the Lord and God,” he said.
More than 1,000 people turned up to send Michael off in the sombre service. They included Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Alfred Jabu, Infrastructure and Communications Minister Datuk Seri Michael Manyin, Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Richard Riot, Deputy Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar and Third Infantry Brigade commander Brig-Gen Datuk Redzuan Baharuddin.
Michael’s remains arrived at the Heroes Grave at 10.35am from Serian and were laid into the ground at 11am moments after prayers led by Saint Teresa Church, Serian parish priest Father Joseph Chai.
Speaking to reporters after the funeral service, Khalid thanked the state government and Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud for honouring Michael.
“This would boost my men’s morale and spirit,” he said.
“We will look into taking care of his family’s welfare and I’ve told his wife that in case she needs any help, she can contact the police here. “