11th January 2017
Messages of condolences flooded social networking site Twitter following the passing of Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem.
Adenan, who was recently warded at Sarawak General Hospital Heart Centre in Kota Samarahan, died at the age of 72 this afternoon.
Among the earliest to express their condolences were Umno leaders Mas Ermieyati Samsudin and Khairy Jamaluddin.
Khairy in his tweet, expressed his condolences to Adenan’s widow, Jamilah Anu, his family, as well as the people of Sarawak over Adenan’s passing.
Soon after, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak also took to Twitter to express his sorrow over Adenan’s death.
“I will be going to Sarawak to pay my last respects,” he tweeted.
Stating how Adenan had contributed greatly to Sarawak, Malaysia, Najib added that Malaysia had lost a respected leader.
Other Barisan Nasional leaders who expressed their condolences were Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Tengku Adenan Tengku Mansor, Razali Ibrahim, Ahmad Shabery Cheek, Bung Moktar Radin, Liow Tiong Lai, Ahmad Maslan, Tan Keng Liang, P Kamalanathan, Mary Yap and Azalina Othman Said.
Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said today was a “sad day for all, especially Sarawak”.
“(We have) lost a leader who had contributed a lot and he is also someone I respected. May his soul rest in peace among the pious,” tweeted Hishammuddin.
Opposition leaders also tweeted their sorrow over the passing.
Among them were Azmin Ali, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Lim Kit Siang, Mohd Shafie Apdal, Mahfuz Omar, Fuziah Salleh, Darrell Leiking, Charles Santiago, M Kulasegaran, and Hannah Yeoh.
Azmin in his tweet, prayed for Adenan to be granted “husnul khatimah” (good end) and to be placed in heaven.
Lim, on the other hand, expressed his “deepest condolences to the bereaved family”.
“Malaysia and Sarawak have lost a great visionary leader,” he tweeted.
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng in a statement said Adenan will be remembered as one of the few chief ministers of Sarawak who was not embroiled in personal controversies or tainted by public scandals of corruption.
“In the few years I met him during the regular Conference of Rulers meetings, I found him to be humble, well-read, easily approachable and willing to engage.
“Despite our political differences, we share a belief that there must be decentralisation of power by respecting state rights and the inalienable right of local people to decide their own local affairs.
Lim believes that the struggle to treat all as Sarawakians and Malaysians instead of “pendatang” (immigrant), respect for religious freedom for non-Muslims, the native customary land rights of native people and a 20 percent share of oil royalties should be continued.
“Rest in peace Tan Sri, you have done your duty to all Sarawakians,” said Lim.
Meanwhile, describing Adenan as a “good man”, Sarawak DAP chief Chong Chieng Jen said Adenan had tried his best to introduce some changes for the better for Sarawak, despite “great resistance from within the system”.
“As the chief minister with such a short tenure, he has contributed greatly to Sarawak and shown us that Sarawak can stand up against the might of the federal government,” said Chong in a statement.
“His demise is a loss to Sarawak and on behalf of Sarawak DAP and the people of Sarawak, I would like to thank him for his deeds and contributions to the state.”
Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian in a Facebook post lamented how the people of Sarawak had lost a chief minister who truly cared for them.
“He chose to carry on with his role as chief minister even though his health was declining.
“He did his best for Sarawak and I had the greatest respect for him. Rest in peace, Adenan,” wrote Baru Bian in the post.
Sarawak PAS commissioner Jofri Jaraiee, in a press statement, described Adenan as a chief minister who defended the rights of natives in Sarawak and fought for Sarawak autonomous rights.
“We hope his successor will continue to resume his struggle in championing the people,” he said.
“Many are aggrieved because there are many more people of Sarawak, especially in rural areas, who still need his services as a chief minister,” said Jofri.
Adenan took over the post of Sarawak chief minister from his predecessor Abdul Taib Mahmud in February 2014.
A popular leader, Adenan led BN to a sweeping victory in the last Sarawak state election, winning 72 state seats.