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Remembering the Horror of the Atomic Bomb

Source: Sunday Star, 7 August 1988
  
By: Rema Nambiar

Kuala Lumpur, Saturday - Former teacher Haji Abdul Razak Abdul Hamid is perhaps the sole Malaysian who can describe the horror of the atomic bomb.

This is because he saw it all - he was in Hiroshima on this day 43 years ago when the first atomic bomb was dropped on the Japanese city killing some 200,000 people.

Haji Abdul Razak, then a 19-year-old student pursuing a degree in education at the Hiroshima University which was 1.5km away from the spot where the bomb exploded, survived the holocaust that ensued but his two fellow Malayan students were not so lucky.

One of them, Nik Yusuf Nik Ali from Kelantan, died on the spot while Johorean Syed Omar Alsagoff died a month later from radiation exposure.

Now 63 and co-ordinator of the Japanese language intensive course at ITM's Preparatory Education Centre, Haji Abdul Razak vividly remembers the fateful day.

He said he was attending a mathematics lecture at about 8am that day when there was a siren warning that the American B-29 was flying over the city.

He said when the atomic bombs were dropped, "there was a flash of light streaking across the windows."

He said all the buildings were destroyed and people were groaning in pain and begging for help.

On August 25, 1945, he and eight other foreign students arrived in Tokyo where they were given medical treatment. There the authorities told him about the "special bomb" that had destroyed Hiroshima and the harmful effects of its radiation.

Haji Abdul Razak returned to Malaya in December after he was given a clean bill of health.

Haji Abdul Razak will speak about his experiences at 8.30pm on Tuesday at the British Council Hall in conjunction with Hiroshima Day, organised by the Malaysian Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (a section of the Malaysian Medical Association).

A 45-minute documentary Japan In My Mind featuring the life and times of Haji Abdul Razak was set to be aired over Japanese television tonight.

A crew from the Japan Radio Broadcasting Corporation, was here from June 26 to July 5 to film the documentary. Part of it was shot in Hiroshima where Haji Abdul Razak re-enacted the events of August 6, 1945.

Haji Abdul Razak has also written a book Debu Hiroshima documenting his experiences. The book was published last year by Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka.


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