08 February 2012

Petrol Station Worker Herman Sihas a Hero

Herman Sihas was a petrol station worker, but he was also a selfless hero.

Shortly after the new year, Herman Sihas, a petrol pump worker in Sarawak, lost his life while trying to save a drowning form 6 student, Kho Ying Qi. It was a rainy January morning in Kuching when monsoon drains and the river swelled with flood waters. School was called off for the day.

Ying Qi's car stalled as she drove in the heavy rain, and she walked to the nearby petrol station to get help. She fell into a monsoon drain, which was heavily flooded. It was then that petrol station worker, who saw the scene, rushed out to her rescue. He jumped into the waters to save Ying Qi, but unfortunately lost his life. Herman's body was found two days later. Ying Qi's body was found more than two weeks later.

Herman Sihas was a Bidayuh Salako. He grew up with his family in Kampung Jangkar, Lundu, and obtained his secondary school education in Peninsular Malaysia. He returned to Sarawak several years ago to start working. His cousin Billy Sujang called him a "humanitarian" and said, "Herman’s brave like that. He jumped into the waters. That’s him. When he could help, he helped anyone, including strangers." Herman converted when he was aged 15 years old, while studying in Kuala Lumpur. He was the only Muslim in his family. The Sarawak State Islamic Council agreed to pay for his funeral. (Source)

In recognition of his sacrifice, Herman was posthumously awarded the First Class Certificate of Merit by the Sarawak St John Ambulance. KeADILan Sarawak has also posthumously awarded the 2012 Citizen's Bravery Award to Herman Sihas.