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“Throughout the SAR operation involving the police, the Fire and Rescue Department and the Civil Defence Force (APM), including the services of the K9 Unit, which began on June 19, no trace of the two men has been found.” Mohamad Noor Azlan Yahya said. - Pic courtesy form Fire and Rescue Dept
“Throughout the SAR operation involving the police, the Fire and Rescue Department and the Civil Defence Force (APM), including the services of the K9 Unit, which began on June 19, no trace of the two men has been found.” Mohamad Noor Azlan Yahya said. - Pic courtesy form Fire and Rescue Dept

IPOH: The family of Yahya Harun, an elderly man reported missing while searching for siput belitung (mud creeper) in the mangrove forest of Sungai Tuntung near Pantai Remis, still holds hope that he will be found safe, despite the incident occurring 21 days ago.

Mohamad Noor Azlan Yahya, 28, said that he and other family members, who have been searching for Yahya,56, since the first day of the search and rescue (SAR) operation, remain patient and pray for his safe return.

He said that the family also hopes for the prayers of Malaysians so that his father, along with his friend, Azman Mat Jaab, 61, can be found.

"We siblings, volunteers, fishermen, and villagers have joined the search operation at the incident site along with the rescue team, who are tirelessly waiting for good news.

"Of course, we are sad and anxious, but as a family we hope that my father and pak cik (uncle )Azman will be found soon, in whatever condition," he told Bernama today.

Mohamad Noor Azlan added that the SAR operation continues in stages, but no new clues have been found so far.

"A few days ago, 50 personnel of the 9th Battalion Royal Ranger Regiment from Taiping joined the search for my father and Azman, but they still have not been found.

"The search was conducted within a 500-metre radius of where my father's motorcycle was found, but we are still struggling to track down both of them," he said.

He said his instinct tells him that his father and missing friend are still alive and somewhere in the mangrove forest, but perhaps something else is preventing them from finding their way out.

"Throughout the SAR operation involving the police, the Fire and Rescue Department and the Civil Defence Force (APM), including the services of the K9 Unit, which began on June 19, no trace of the two men has been found.

"There have been no fragments of clothes, shoes, or any of their equipment found during the operation. Initially, there were some shoe prints, but we could not confirm if the prints belong to the two men," he said

The third of five siblings, he said his father has been harvesting mud creepers for decades and is familiar with the area.

The mud creeper is a relatively common snail found in muddy coastal areas and eaten in Southeast Asia, where it is known by the name of Belitung and Siput Sedut in Malay.

On June 18, Yahya and Azman went out in the morning to search for mud creepers but did not return home by their usual time between 5 and 6pm.

The family then decided to file a missing persons report at the Pantai Remis Police Station on June 19, after which the search operation for the missing individuals was launched. – BERNAMA