Online fundraiser for dead SMRT duo collects over $30k

PHOTO: SCREENGRAB OF ONLINE FUND-RAISING CAMPAIGN

An online fund-raising campaign has collected more than $30,000 in just over two days for the families of the two SMRT trainees killed on the tracks near Pasir Ris MRT station on Tuesday.

Mr Nasrulhudin Najumudin, 26, and Mr Muhammad Asyraf Ahmad Buhari, 24, were among 15 technical staff investigating a possible fault with a point machine used for trains to change tracks. They were struck by an oncoming train while walking towards the machine.

The campaign on fund-raising website Give.asia was started by entrepreneur Shariff Raffi and Give.asia co-founder Aseem Thakur.

In a note on the campaign page, Mr Shariff, 32, said he did not know the two SMRT trainees personally but felt saddened that they had died while putting "their lives on the line for us".

"While taking the train the same evening (Tuesday), I couldn't help but feel deeply moved by what had happened and kept thinking about their families and friends," he said.

The fund-raising effort started on Thursday.

Mr Aseem, 29, told The Straits Times both he and Mr Shariff were touched by the "overwhelming support and donations to the fund-raising page".

"As shared on the page, at the end of the fundraiser, we will be sending the funds to SMRT so that the funds can be properly channelled to the families of Mr Muhammad Asyraf and Mr Nasrulhudin."

The two fund-raisers have been liaising with SMRT and the campaign will close in a fortnight .

Mr Muhammad Asyraf's uncle, Mr Bakhtiar Ahmad, 63, said the family is aware of the donation drive and intends to respond to well-wishers soon. "The family is currently focused on the spiritual aspect of our loss," he said.

Separately, SMRT has also started an internal donation drive for staff to contribute to the families of the two men killed. The firm took responsibility for the incident and issued an apology on Wednesday.

It said that a key safety procedure was not followed, adding that the company has established a team to evaluate all workplace safety procedures and instituted mandatory work-team level safety reviews.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 26, 2016, with the headline 'Online fundraiser for dead SMRT duo collects over $30k'. Print Edition | Subscribe