Former Malay Mail journalist Johan Fernandez laid to rest

Johan, 71, died at 6am at Hospital Kuala Lumpur following a short battle with illness caused by urosepsis. — Picture via Facebook
Johan, 71, died at 6am at Hospital Kuala Lumpur following a short battle with illness caused by urosepsis. — Picture via Facebook

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 11 — Former Malay Mail subeditor Johan Fernandez Abdullah was buried at the Tanah Perkuburan Islam Jalan Ampang here following his death this morning.

Johan, 71, died at 6am at Hospital Kuala Lumpur following a short battle with illness caused by urosepsis.

The late Johan was brought to the Muslim cemetery from Masjid Jamek Kampung Baru after Zohor prayers at around 1.50pm, with around 50 people including family, friends and former colleagues attending his burial.

Prior to his burial, Johan’s body was brought to his wife’s home at Kampung Baru at around 11am for people to pay their last respects after he was bathed and shrouded in a simple funerary rite conducted at Hospital Kuala Lumpur.

Johan, who was from Cameron Highlands, Pahang, had worked at Malay Mail from June 2016 until December 2018.

Speaking to Malay Mail, Johan’s youngest child, Haikal Jauhari, said he noticed his father had felt unwell since last week, after which they decided to admit him to the hospital for medical treatment on Monday.

Family and friends offer prayers during Johan Fernandez Abdullah’s funeral at Masjid Jamek Kampung Baru in Kuala Lumpur September 11, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Family and friends offer prayers during Johan Fernandez Abdullah’s funeral at Masjid Jamek Kampung Baru in Kuala Lumpur September 11, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

“He was sick on and off with flu-like symptoms few days back while unable to eat or drink anything.

“It was so sudden. No one had expected it,” he said while holding back his tears.

After the completion of the funerary rites, Haikal could be seen consoling his mother, Hanim Melan, by the side of Johan’s grave as she struggled to say her final farewells.

Among those who paid their final respects was veteran journalist Datuk Abdul Kadir Jasin, who recalled Johan as a pleasant friend and co-worker when they had been in the New Straits Times during the 1980s.

“We were together in journalism for a long long time, I knew both he and Hanim.

“Johan spent a lot of time doing court and crime reporting which was a specialisation at that time where readers always looked forward to those stories,” he told Malay Mail when met at Kampung Baru.

Johan first worked as a journalist in the New Straits Times before joining The Star in 1989.

He was made The Star's Metro pullout editor in 1994.

Family and friends attend Johan Fernandez Abdullah’s burial at Tanah Perkuburan Islam Jalan Ampang in Kuala Lumpur September 11, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Family and friends attend Johan Fernandez Abdullah’s burial at Tanah Perkuburan Islam Jalan Ampang in Kuala Lumpur September 11, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

In the late 2001, he was The Star's Editor for the North American Bureau in New York and served there until 2006.

Upon his return from the United States, he worked with The Star's Newsdesk as Deputy Editor, Op-Ed, until his contract expired in June 2016.

In May, Johan was also featured in The Star's R.AGE documentary series on the 1969 May 13 riots, sharing his experience on that fateful day.

Johan is survived by his wife, four children and seven grandchildren.

The burial ceremony concluded at around 3.05pm.

Datuk A. Kadir Jasin arrives for Johan Fernandez Abdullah’s funeral at Kampung Baru in Kuala Lumpur September 11, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Datuk A. Kadir Jasin arrives for Johan Fernandez Abdullah’s funeral at Kampung Baru in Kuala Lumpur September 11, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

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