PETALING JAYA — April 12, 2016: Former Utusan Melayu chief editor Said Zahari died of old age at his daughter’s house in Puncak Alam, Shah Alam, today. He was 88.
His eldest son, Roesman, said her sister Rismawati tried to wake their father for a meal at 11.30am but there was no response.
An hour later, a doctor who was called to the house confirmed that Said had died, Roesman told reporters.
The funeral prayer was held at the local mosque before the remains were laid to rest at the USJ 22 Muslim cemetery here at 7.30 pm.
Roesman said he and his siblings had made Said as their best role model.
“He made friends with everyone regardless of their colour. He was a generous man, always giving without expecting anything in return. All these have become the motto for me and my siblings.”
Born in Singapore on May 18, 1928, Said was a prominent activist in the field of journalism and politics.
He received his education in Singapore, where he passed his Senior Cambridge examination before working as a journalist at Utusan Melayu in 1951. Said had also studied to communicate in Japanese.
In 1959 he was appointed Utusan Melayu editor and was involved in the 1961 newspaper strike which led to his expulsion from Malaya to return to Singapore.
In Singapore he became active in politics and was elected de facto chief of Parti Rakyat Singapura but was arrested and jailed by the Singapore government in 1963 for almost 17 years for allegedly being a leftist.
After his release, Said joined the Asia Research Magazine as editor and managing editor for six years from 1980 and served Xenia Editorial Services as executive editor from 1992 to 1994.
He was also appointed as guest writer for two years from 1992 at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.
Said was active in research and wrote a number of books such as ‘Irian Barat – Duri Dalam Daging’, ‘Puisi Dari Penjara’ and ‘Meniti Lautan Gelora’. — Bernama