KOTA KINABALU, June 16 — Sabah’s first woman deputy chief minister Datuk Ariah Tengku Ahmad passed away in her sleep at her residence here today at the age of 86, said her son Tengku Datuk Fuad Tengku Ahmad.

Tengku Fuad, who is a lawyer, characterised his mother’s life as one of distinction and service.

He said she had captained the Jesselton Athletics Team, was Miss Jesselton 1956, a radio announcer, journalist, Kawang State Assembly member, Sabah Minister of Social Services and Sabah Deputy Chief Minister, among others.

“But above all, she was an amazing mother and grandmother whom we all loved and shall miss dearly. Indeed we belong to Allah and Him we return to.

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“May Allah bless her soul, forgive all her sins and place her in Jannatul Firdaus among the righteous,” he said in a statement here today.

Tengku Fuad said his mother, known to her close friends as Irene Pritchard, was the wife of the late Brig Gen Tunku Ahmad Tunku Besar Burhanuddin.

Ariah was the Kawang State Assembly member from 1986 to 1995, and in 1993 she was appointed as the deputy chief minister. She was also the founding member of Persatuan Wanita Sabah (Pewasa). — Bernama

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