The quest to get some insights on the late Rehman Rashid, 62, the veteran journalist who passed away today, turns out to be a blessed journey as positive comments keep pouring in.
The former associate editor of the New Straits Times (NST), as his colleagues describe him, had such a colourful and creative persona, and to them, every time they thought of him was a trip down memory lane.
Known as a stickler for the rules, Rehman, was already a star performer right from the time he joined the newspaper back in 1981, said NST veteran K.H Lim.
“Like many creative personalities, Rehman was insistent on doing things his way. Though this may not go down well with all the editors, every one of them respected him for his clarity of thought, his literary wit and most of all, his enormous vocabulary which he displayed each time he pens an article.
“Today’s young writers will call that awesome. Yes, he was indeed an awesome writer. His play on words and nuances are unmatched,” the former NST senior journalist told Bernama when contacted today.
Lim, who now manages Ming, KH & Associates Sdn Bhd, also recalled Rehman as someone who had a great sense of humour, albeit dark sometimes.
“Perhaps this could be due to his training as a marine biologist before he yielded to his true calling in journalism. We will all miss him. May he rest in peace,” said Lim.
Rehman, who would always be fondly-remembered for his books — "Small Town" in 2016, "Pangkor: Treasure of the Straits and Peninsula: A Story of Malaysia", died at the Selayang Hospital, at 6.30 am today.
The body of the former Malaysian Press Institute’s Journalist of the Year for 1985, was laid to rest at the Kuala Kubu Baru Road Muslim Cemetery, around 2.30 pm today.
Meanwhile, NST deputy sports editor Chan Kai Wong, remembered Rehman as someone who was a magnificent writer who crafted his words on a grandiose scale.
Rehman, to him, was someone who was a learned man, cultured, and polite, but yet never hesitated to speak out his mind even if it went against the view of others.
“It was a pleasure to work with Rehman and he helped me to proof read the news pages when he saw that I was short of staff even though he was from another department.
“Once I told Rehman that I can't write like him as I use simple words, he replied with a smile — ‘Sir, to write the simplest is the hardest’,” Chan said.
And to Bernama Chairman Azman Ujang, Rehman was a great writer, one of a kind.
“He was gifted with a rare talent and in our country such talent is extremely difficult to come by especially with the serious deficit in English among younger generations of Malaysian,” Azman said.