ALOR STAR: She may be 68 years old but Halimah Din is no ordinary grandmother.
Although she is asthmatic, Halimah brazenly dived into the canal near her house in Kampung Sungai Lintang, Yan, to search for her 5-year-old grandson, Muhammad Fardinie Zamri, who had fallen into the 2m-deep waterway.
She dived for almost 30 minutes, surfacing only to catch her breath.
Despite her brave attempt, the diminutive but gutsy woman failed to locate Fardinie at 5pm on Monday.
"I thought of nothing but to save my grandson. I did not even realise that the water was flowing very fast and that it was very cold," she said at her house yesterday.
Unfortunately, Fardinie, the third among four siblings, had drowned. He fell off his bicycle and into the canal while trying to cross a mini-concrete bridge over the waterway.
His brother, Muhammad Farhan, 10, said he caught glimpses of Fardinie in the 4m-wide canal as he struggled to stay afloat.
"I was fishing nearby when I saw Fardinie approaching me on his bicycle. The next thing I realised, he was struggling in the canal."
Farhan tried to reach Fardinie but the current was too strong.
Halimah, upon hearing her grandsons' cries for help, rushed to Fardinie's aid.
Wearing a baju kurung, she jumped off the bridge to save Fardinie, who by then had been overcome by the strong current.
Several villagers who heard the commotion also dived in but their attempt to save the boy was futile.
They only managed to recover his body, trapped in the bushes 30m from the bridge, an hour later. - NST