Legendary consumer rights advocate SM Idris dies

The prominent rights activist was 93. — Picture by KE Ooi
The prominent rights activist was 93. — Picture by KE Ooi

GEORGE TOWN, May 17 — Consumer Association of Penang (CAP) president SM Mohamed Idris died today at the age of 93.

The 93-year-old, who was known for his vocal stance against many environmental and social issues, passed away at the Gleneagles Medical Centre today.

His brother, Mohideen Abdul Kader, said Mohamed Idris was brought to the hospital due to breathing difficulties yesterday evening.

“His body will be brought back to his home in Rose Avenue and he will be laid to rest at the Jalan Perak Muslim Cemetery tomorrow at 10am,” he said.

Mohamed Idris, who was also the president of Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM), left behind four children.

He was born in India on December 6, 1926 before coming to Penang with his father in 1938.

He was the first CAP president when the organisation was founded back in 1969.

He found the organisation together with Datuk Anwar Fazal, who was the secretary of the organisation then.

According to Anwar, Mohamed Idris was a Penang Island Municipal councillor back in the early 1960s.

“He was the chairman of the tree-planting committee at that time and he was probably the only person to have planted the most trees in Penang,” he said.

He said Mohamed Idris was also a chairman of the Penang Library who has introduced innovative programmes such as keeping the library open on Sundays to encourage a reading culture.

“He was a leader in the environmental and consumer movement here and internationally, he was a leader in social movements,” he said.

He said Mohamed Idris was never afraid to speak his mind or protest against any issues.

“He was an activist who always looked after the public’s interest. He will definitely be missed,” he said.

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