COMMENT | Malaysia has lost a statesperson.
Abdul Khalid Ibrahim passed away peacefully at Cardiac Vascular Sentral Kuala Lumpur (CVSKL) last Sunday, July 31, in the presence of his family members - his wife, four children and two grandsons. He had been hospitalised since April 23 for a viral infection and other complications. He was 75.
By the consent of the Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, Abdul Khalid was buried at the Shah Alam Royal Mausoleum near the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Mosque, during which thousands of well-wishers came to pay their last respects to the former Selangor menteri besar.
My deep gratitude to his highness as his consent is akin to the recognition of Abdul Khalid’s service, contribution and hard work for the people of Selangor.
The late Abdul Khalid was a special person to many. More so to those who had worked with him. I was fortunate enough to be part of his team in Selangor between 2008 and 2015. To his staff, he was a principled no-nonsense leader - unpretentious and hardworking.
His favourite word in his speeches and interviews was accountability. It’s not mere lip service but something he practised in all his decisions. Although he was dear to his family and close friends, as the menteri besar, he was very strict, and he always spoke his mind. He never compromised when it came to corruption, and political colleagues who approached him with “business ideas” were always declined.
I remember how I had to deal with a senior official of a state subsidiary who wanted to present him with a list of unsold bungalow lots in Selangor. Attempts for a meeting were denied, and the officer approached me...