SOMBRE OCCASION: (from left) Tan Sri Datuk Amar Leonard Linggi Jugah and Moggie catching up with the Head of State. — Photo by Tan Song Weiby Geryl Ogilvy Ruekeith' email@example.com. Posted on July 20, 2011, Wednesday
KUCHING: Head of State Tun Datuk Patinggi Abang Muhammad Salahuddin was among a host of top state dignitaries and community leaders paying their last respects to former deputy chief minister Datuk Amar James Wong Kim Min yesterday.
Salahuddin and his wife Toh Puan Datuk Patinggi Norkiah arrived at the Wong’s residence at Jalan Tengah, off Green Road here at 9.50am. They were greeted on arrival by Datin Amar Valerie Wong and other family members.
Among those who came in the morning included former federal minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Leo Moggie who is president of Dayak Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI).
Describing the late Datuk Amar as a ‘gentleman politician’, the Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) chairman told reporters that Wong would always be remembered for the role he played in the formation of Malaysia and his gentlemanly conduct.
Puan Sri Rosalind Ningkan, wife of Sarawak’s first chief minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Stephen Kalong Ningkan meanwhile said: “Datuk Amar James Wong was very close to my late husband. They were like brothers.”
She said that both her husband and the late Wong had gone through a lot together. They were pillars of each other’s strength.
Others who came included former state minister and DCCI deputy president Dato Sri Celestine Ujang, Sarawak National Party (SNAP) secretary-general Stanley Edmund Jugol and SUPP leaders comprising the president Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan who is former deputy chief minister, treasurer Datuk David Teng, publicity and information secretary Datuk Alfred Yap, Senadin assemblyman Datuk Lee Kim Shin and former Batu Kawah assemblyman Tan Joo Phoi.
When met by reporter Dr Chan said: “Wong is a precious friend who was very adamant in his conviction. He dared to speak up his mind no matter who the person was or the place and time. He was very frank and never hide what he felt was best for the state and country.
“He always spoke his mind and was very vocal in cabinet meeting. Wong’s strong point was his multiracial attitude and loyalty. No one can doubt his loyalty to his country.”
Minister of Social Development and Urbanisation Tan Sri William Mawan, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu and wife Dato Sri Empiang were among those who came in the afternoon.
Jabu, who is also Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture, told reporters that “When Datuk Amar was a state minister he was very concerned about the environment, cleanliness of the rivers and preserving of resources.
“We have lost a very close friend, who during his lifetime, was very jovial, always mixing with the young and the old alike. He has done lots of good for the country and he is a statesman whom we will miss very much.”
The afternoon also saw the presence of Minister of Housing and Urban Development Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg and wife Datin Juma’aini Tuanku Bujang, Second Minister of Planning and Resource Management Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan, Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department Mohd Naroden Majais and Assistant Minister of Public Utilities (Water Supplies) Sylvester Entri.
Also seen were Assistant Minister of Public Health Datuk Dr Stephen Rundi, State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Speaker Dato Sri Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar, Batang Sadong MP Nancy Shukri, Semariang assemblywoman Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali, her mother the former Semariang assemblywoman Datuk Sharifah Mordiah and former state minister Dr Patau Rubis.