SINGAPORE - The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) warrant officer who died on Tuesday (Oct 9) in Brunei had a bubbly personality, loved the outdoors and cared for his fellow soldiers, said friends and family members at his final send-off on Wednesday.
They also said Third Warrant Officer (3WO) Muhammad Sadikin Hasban, 33, enjoyed his job so much, he extended his service in Brunei by a year to three years.
Two months before he was due to return to Singapore, the assistant chief company trainer was hit by a falling tree branch on Tuesday while supervising contractors performing maintenance work at a helicopter evacuation site.
He was taken to Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha Hospital in a helicopter and ambulance but died from his injuries at 11.50am.
His body was flown back to Singapore in a military aircraft and taken to his parents' Housing Board flat in Choa Chu Kang on Wednesday.
More than 200 relatives, friends and colleagues from SAF filled the void deck to pay their respects, many tearfully, as his parents and wife Norsidah Kamilan, 29, stood in quiet grief. His wife told reporters she was "not ready" to talk.
3WO Sadikin was buried at Lim Chu Kang Muslim Cemetery.
Mr Kamilan Subari, 56, said his son-in-law, who was an SAF regular for 13 years, was a kind-hearted person who took good care of his daughter. The couple, who married in 2014, did not have any children.
Mr Kamilan, a retired officer in the shipping industry, added: "He was very happy-go-lucky, and loved family bonding time very much."
Cousins and long-time friends said 3WO Sadikin loved sports. He was in the school rugby and football teams at Fajar Secondary School.
Former classmate and Singapore Civil Defence Force regular Hairulnizam Mustafa, 33, said: "He was very 'on' and energetic - that was his personality. When we were with him, he's always smiling."
Former schoolmate Khairul Osman, 33, an IT manager, added: "He loved the military and he loved his men."
The last time they met was during the fasting month of Ramadan in June.
A cousin, who declined to be named, said: "He had this selflessness about him. Very generous guy, who was always there for his friends and family."
This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.