KUALA SELANGOR, Malaysia — Theirs was a timeless love story.
They met when they were teenagers, fell in love, but had to part ways. But even after more than 30 years, and each having gone separate lives, building their own families thousands of kilometers apart, their love stayed strong.
But alas, for Deputy Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Noriah Kasnon and Asmuni Abdullah, both 52, their second shot at happiness only lasted eight months.
They died together in the Sarawak helicopter tragedy on Thursday.
The childhood sweethearts only tied the knot last September after reconnecting via Facebook.
Noriah’s younger brother, Saiful Baharim, 44, recalled that the young lovers had to part ways more than 30 years ago after their mother objected to the relationship.
“They studied in the same primary school at SK Sungai Burong here. They wanted to be together when they finished high school but mum would not allow it because she said studies were more important.
“In the end, they had to bury their love for each other and move on to pursue their tertiary education.
“Asmuni went to the United States to study architecture while Noriah read law at the International Islamic University Malaysia,” he said when met at the family’s village home in Batu 12, Sungai Burong, here on Saturday.
He said both lost contact with each other and Noriah later married and had five children from three marriages, including a three-year-old adopted son, while Asmuni also had four children and settled down in New York after finishing his studies. Saiful said the couple only reconnected early last year when Noriah initiated a gathering for her primary school alumni through Facebook.
Realizing they still had feelings for each other, they kept in touch and got married last September.
“It was truly a timeless love story because they have liked each other since young,” he said showing old pictures of Noriah and Asmuni during their childhood and teenage years.
Noriah’s older sister, Sunarsih, 55, said her sister was so much happier after marrying Asmuni and had talked about quitting politics to focus on her family.
“She had told us that this would be her last term as Sungai Besar MP,” she said. Noriah was a term Sungai Besar MP.
Noriah’s niece Ummu Hani Asaidah Abdullah who has been looking after her adopted son Adam Mukhriz, is also worried as the toddler has been asking for his mother.
“Sometimes, he just stares blankly into space and keeps asking me where mama was.
“I do not know what else to say other than tell him that mama will be back soon,” she said, adding that Adam was very close to his mother.
It is understood that Noriah’s older children will be taking care of Adam.\
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