KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 11 ― Political leaders from both Barisan Nasional (BN) and the Opposition mourned the loss of Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem who died from a heart attack today.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said that Sarawak had lost a “capable” leader who had made many contributions to Sarawakians.
“His contributions to Sarawak were big, Malaysia has lost a capable leader,” Najib tweeted, adding that he would be going to Sarawak to pay his respects to Adenan.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi also expressed his condolences to Adenan’s wife, Puan Sri Jamilah Anu.
MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said that Malaysia had lost “a great leader”.
“Condolences to PS Jamilah and family and Sarawakians over the passing of TS Adenan Satem, CM S’wak. Msia lost a great leader today,” he said.
DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang described Adenan as a “great visionary leader”.
“Deepest condolences to the bereaved family. Malaysia and Sarawak has lost a great visionary leader,” he tweeted.
PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, who is also Selangor Mentri Besar, in a series of tweets, expressed his sadness over Adenan’s death.
“Condolences to Puan Sri Jamilah Anu and family over his departure. May you be given strength to face this test,” he said.
Sarawak DAP also mourned the loss of Adenan, describing him as a a great son of Sarawak and a leader loved by fellow Sarawakians.
“The memory of his brilliant leadership will, however, remain a source of inspiration and encouragement to all his friends, countrymen and fellow Sarawakians. He has fought a good fight for Sarawak. He will never be forgotten,” said Aziz Isa, special assistant to Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen.
Electoral watchdog Bersih 2.0 expressed their condolences to the family and the people of Sarawak over Adenan’s death.
Malaysia’s Olympic medallist, diver Pandelela Rinong, who is also from Sarawak, said that she was heartbroken by the news of Adenan’s death.
“Heartbroken news to all Sarawakians and of course me,” she said.
Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said that Malaysia has not only lost a leader who had foresight, and who understood the sentiments of the people, but also a good man.
“I have not only lost a comrade but also a good friend,” he said in a statement here.
On behalf of the Sabah state government, he said that he and Sabahans empathised with Adenan’s family and Sarawakians.
The death of the 72-year-old chief minister, who rose in popularity due to his efforts to reclaim state rights, has sent people from all walks of life, politicians from all divides, in and outside the state into mourning.
Sabah Opposition members also expressed their condolences to Sarawak and Adenan’s family for his passing.
Parti Warisan Sabah deputy president Darell Leiking said that he was a respected leader who was willing to fight for the rights of Borneo within the Barisan Nasional coalition.
“Although we had a different political ideology; he was the only Barisan Nasional chief minister who showed us in Borneo that we can be a force to be reckoned with,” said the Penampang MP.
Sabah DAP chairman Stephen Wong also mourned the death of the leader describing it as a great loss to Sabah and Sarawak and to Malaysia as a whole.
“Tan Sri had been consistently and tirelessly fighting for equal status to be accorded to the two Borneo states in Malaysia. May his soul rest in peace and his legacy lives on,” he said.
Sabah PKR chair Christina Liew described Adenan as a “strong leader” and a “source of inspiration to the two states of Borneo on the issues of rights under the Malaysia Agreement 1963”.
Adenan died at the Sarawak Heart Centre in Kota Samarahan this afternoon, close to three years after taking oath as the Sarawak Chief Minister in February 2014.
Adenan was highly popular among Sarawakians for his efforts to reclaim the state’s rights from the federal government.
He was 72 years old, just 16 days shy of celebrating his 73rd birthday on January 27.