updated 16 Apr 2014, 12:49
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Mon, Apr 07, 2014
The Straits Times
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Tales of love and despair
by Joyce Lim

KL couple's hopes for fresh start dashed

Married for just over a year, the Kuala Lumpur couple were looking forward to a delayed honeymoon - and the chance to recover from losing a baby, and to create a new one.

Just weeks before the fateful March 8 flight, Ms Norli Akmar Hamid, 33, had suffered a miscarriage.

But she and her husband Muhammad Razahan Zamani, 24, decided to go ahead with their honeymoon trip to Beijing - their first flight ever. He hoped it would cheer her up as she had been depressed after losing the baby.

They were hoping she would get pregnant during the trip, said his uncle Mr Zulkfli Zakaria, 43.

Not many Malay couples would have chosen a Chinese city for their honeymoon, but they picked Beijing because it is where Ms Norli Akmar's favourite actor, Leon Lai, hails from.

In the days leading up to the flight, the excited couple posted photographs and notes of their preparations on Facebook. Mr Muhammad

Razahan put up snaps of matching gloves and windbreakers he had bought, and even of their passports.

They had saved for over a year for the five-day trip. A few months ago, when Ms Norli Akmar found out she was pregnant, they thought of cancelling. Then the miscarriage happened.

She worked as an administrative assistant at an aviation maintenance and repair company, while her husband was a storekeeper. They met when both were working at a branch of the Japanese Aeon supermarket chain in Kuala Lumpur. Although Ms Norli Akmar was nine years older, they hit it off, had a whirlwind romance and married a year later.

He rode a motorbike and loved football; she loved cats and TV crime shows. Family members told The Straits Times that they were inseparable.

"We could see how Razahan was so in love with his wife. He would even go to Beijing with her. Despite the big age gap, everyone in the family gave the couple our blessings," said Mr Muhammad Razahan's cousin Mohamad Sahril Shaari, 36, a freelance cameraman. About 1,000 relatives and friends attended the couple's wedding on Oct 6, 2012, in a town hall at a police staff quarters in Malaysia's capital.

It had been Mr Muhammad Razahan's childhood dream to become a cop like his father. After he grew up, he would don his dad's uniform for Facebook photos, although in reality he was a sales assistant at Aeon.

Once he met Ms Norli Akmar, the couple dreamed of a better life together, moved to better jobs, and planned a honeymoon.

On March 6, Mr Muhammad Razahan wrote on Facebook: "One year after my wedding, tomorrow I will go for my honeymoon. Beijing! I am coming!"

Two hours before Flight MH370 took off just after midnight, his wife posted poignantly: "Leon Lai... wait for me..."


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