KUALA LUMPUR – Jan 11, 2017: Malaysians from all walks of life today paid tribute to the late Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem.
Adenan, 72, whom many described as an extraordinary leader, passed away at the Sarawak Heart Centre in Kota Samarahan this afternoon.
The cause of death has yet to be announced, but the chief minister had a history of heart problems. He would have turned 73 on Jan 27.
Sarawakian netizens were the earliest to express their sadness over the news, with some changing their profile pictures on Facebook to that of a black-and-white state flag as an expression of mourning.
As of now, messages of condolences continue to flood the local cyberspace following the announcement of Adenan’s death.
Sarawakian Facebooker Abigail Jinggut says she is deeply affected by the loss. “We will never forget you, Tok Nan. Thank you for all that you have done in your power for Sarawak, and our people. We will pray for you as you have prayed for us. May God give our CM an eternal rest. This is a very sad day for Sarawak. #SarawakIsMourning,” she wrote, addressing Adenan by his nickname.
Josephine Daniel wrote, “Adenan kept us, Sarawakians peacefully united. I don’t know if there is any other who can be as real, honest and logical as he was. Feeling sad and scared at the same time.”
Joe Awat expressed gratitude to the chief minister’s efforts in improving the wellbeing of Sarawak and its people, “You have done so many things in such a short time for us. You fought hard despite you condition. Rest in peace, Tok Nan.”
John Chang expressed condolences to Adenan’s family and to the people of the state.
“Rest in peace Tan Sri. I may not know your policies thoroughly, but I definitely admire some of the positions you took in the spirit of a unified Malaysia and the pride of Sarawak.”
Sundaresan Raman called for Sarawakians to stay strong in face of their loss. “Humanity still prevails despite political difference, and this is all due to Tan Sri. To his family, I offer you my deepest condolence. To the people of Sawarak, stay strong.”
Walter Martinez concurred. “A very great loss indeed. Not just to our Sarawakian brothers and sisters but to the whole beloved nation of Malaysia. The country has lost an upstanding and honourable leader. May his soul rest in peace, a peace that may have been beyond his reach whilst he held office.”
Leaders on both sides of the political divide have also taken to social media to express their condolences.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak on his official Twitter account wrote: “I received the sad news of Tan Seri Adenan Satem’s passing. I will be going to Sarawak to pay my respects. He made huge contributions to Sarawak. Malaysia has lost a capable leader. My condolences to his family. May his soul be blessed. Al Fatihah.”
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi also expressed his condolences to the wife of the late chief minister on his Instagram account, accompanied with a picture of the chief minister.
“AlFatihah. Condolences to Puan Sri Jamilah on the passing of Tan Sri Adenan Satem. May his soul be placed among the righteous.”
Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof in his official statement later this afternoon expressed shock over the passing of Adenan.
“It is a great loss for Sarawak, and the country as a whole. We lost a selfless leader whose focus was on the interest of the state and its people,” Fadillah, who is also Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu Youth chief, said.
PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail also expressed condolences.
On her official Twitter account, she wrote: “Deepest condolences to Puan Sri Jamilah Anu, family and to all Sarawakians for the passing of Tan Sri Adenan Satem. May all of you be given strength and patience.”