Malaysian literary figure Salleh Ben Joned dies at 79

Malaysian writer and poet Salleh Ben Joned died at his home in Subang Jaya at 1.21am. — Picture via Facebook
Malaysian writer and poet Salleh Ben Joned died at his home in Subang Jaya at 1.21am. — Picture via Facebook

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 19 — Prominent Malaysian writer and poet Salleh Ben Joned died of heart failure today, at his home in Subang Jaya at 1.21am.

In a Facebook post, his family said that the 79-year-old experienced breathing difficulties on Tuesday and was then warded at the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre.

According to the post, the final rites — or sembayang jenazah — were held at Masjid Abu Bakar As-Siddiq in Subang Jaya at 10am today, with the burial at a Muslim cemetary nearby.

Due to MCO regulations, only close relatives were allowed to attend the prayers and burial.

Since his death, multiple tributes have flooded social media.

On Twitter, Malaysian filmmaker and journalist Zan Azlee shared his condolences saying: “If there ever was a Malaysian Zack de la Rocha or Widji Thukul, then in my eyes it was Salleh Ben Joned.”

Actor and journalist Kee Thuan Chye, meanwhile, shared his memories working with Salleh in the New Straits Times, where the latter developed a cult following for his work critiquing the Malay community during the 80s.

“Now he's gone. Sadly. The last of the fundamentalist Malays, as perhaps he would have liked to be known,” Kee said in a Facebook post.

Others who paid their respects include, educator and political activist Bridget Welsh,  filmmaker Zara Kahan and Singaporean poet Alvin Pang.

 

 

 

An ABC podcast that covers the life and work of Salleh can be found here.

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