Monday, November 20, 2006

MORE PICS - Mohamed Khir Johari, 83–Malaysia FOUNDING FATHER; UMNO Veteran; ACCORDED State FUNERAL; A Great MAN Who Refused Titles in Politics

Tan Sri Mohamed Khir Johari (1923 -2006)
Our deepest condolences must be to the family and the grief for someone who has reached the eighties is not as great as in a tragic death of a younger one.
More than 500 people attended his funeral at the National mosque. His breed of UMNOputras are getting extinct very soon.

ABOVE: Tan Sri Ghazali Ismail and BELOW: Datuk Azmi Khalid were there to bid him a fond farwell.
Death is greatly misunderstood as being the end of it all, of coming too soon. Death always seems to be something just out of your understanding, responsibility, control and power. This is completely inaccurate. Death is a transformation. Transformation from one way of being into another. A death is just a night to your soul.

ABOVE and BELOW: The griefing wife Puan Sri Christine Lim felt the sudden loss of someone close.

No man or woman consciously knows for sure which day will be the last for him or her in this particular life, that each calls the present one. Mortality with its birth and death is the framework in which the soul, for now, is expressed in flesh. It seems, perhaps, easier to have no conscious idea of the year or time that death might occur. Unconsciously of course each man and woman knows, and yet hides the knowledge.

The knowledge is usually hidden for many reasons, but the fact of death, personal death, is never forgotten. It seems obvious, but the full enjoyment of life would be impossible in the framework, now, of earthly reality without the knowledge of death.
Life and death are but two faces of your eternal, ever changing existence, however feel and appreciate the joy of your own being. But many who lived into the ripe old age of eighties or their nineties appreciated the extent of the beauty of their being and are seemed to be aware of the withdrawing of life force (energy) and their impending death.

It is rare for a couple to die “together” but it can happened within hours or days and is termed as a “butterfly death" - flying off together in pairs.

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Khiri Seemed To Know Of Impending Death, Wife Says; November 19, 2006 22:40 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 19 (Bernama) -- Tan Sri Mohamed Khir Johari, who died Sunday morning, seemed to know that death was near, said his wife Puan Sri Christine Lim. "Recently, the Tan Sri had repeatedly said 'God is calling me, God is calling me'... "I responded by saying 'Don't talk like that; if you're going, let's go together," she told Bernama when met at the National Mosque compound where funeral rites were rformed. Lim said that she had also asked her husband to wait until their son, Zairil, 23, who is studying overseas, returned. Zairil was at Khir Johari's side when he passed away at his condominium unit in Jalan Tun Sambanthan, Brickfields here. The Umno veteran collapsed while watching television at about 10.30am and was confirmed dead by medical personnel who rushed to his aid in an ambulance. He was given a state funeral at the Heroes' Mausoleum later in the evening. Lim described her husband's death as a great loss and said that of late, he often uttered "I love you".
Information Minister Datuk Seri Zainuddin Maidin, when met by Bernama at the mausoleum, said: "I've known him since long ago, he was among the country's founding fathers who had fought to develop the country." In his long years of service for the country, Khir Johari had even been willing to be unpopular to his own race, he said. "In fact in several aspects, he had been ahead of his time," he said and described Khir Johari as a person who was always cheerful and optimistic. "Most importantly, he never kept a grudge or anger against others, not even his political enemies," Zainuddin said.

Former finance minister Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah said that Khir Johari had played an instrumental role in the country's struggle for independence and the setting up of Umno. "He also had helped woo a lot of foreign investments to our country," he said. Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid said that he hoped Khir Johari's articles in the media and personal notes would be compiled. "He was a prominent fighter for his race in his era and it is fitting for his writings be made a reference by the younger generation," he said.

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Khir's Demise A Loss To The Nation; November 19, 2006 22:16 PM

HANOI, Nov 19 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said that Malaysia lost one of its founding fathers of independence with the death of Tan Sri Mohamed Khir Johari. The 83-year-old Khir Johari, died Sunday, believed to be of a heart attack.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah:(from Hanoi): "Tan Sri Khir was active all his life; he succeeded becoming a leader in government and in several organisations. We appreciate his contributions"

"I am saddened because someone I knew very well has died," he told a press conference held at the Hanoi Horison Hotel here, before leaving for Kuala Lumpur. Abdullah, who participated in the two-day 18th APEC leaders summit here which ended Sunday, said Khir would be greatly missed as he had served his nation and the Malays with dedication. "All of us deeply appreciate his contributions as all that he had done was for Malaysia and the progress of its people. "He was truly a son of Malaysia who succeeded as a leader in the government and community because he had been active in many organisations," he said. Among others, the former cabinet minister had served as the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) president for 25 years from 1960-1985, was the Malaysian World Wide Fund (WWF) for Nature president from 1979 to 2003 and was also President of the Malaysian Zoological Society, also known as Malaysian Wildlife Society, from 1979 to 2004. Abdullah also extended his condolences to Khir's family members.

Deputy Primer Datuk Seri Najib: "He was a member of the first cabinet and figures in our country's history. We will always remember him and on behlaf of the cabinent, I wish to express our sincere condolences to hir family"

Meanwhile in KUALA LUMPUR, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak was among those who paid their last respects to Khir at the National Mosque. "I'm very sad... more so because he was one of the first federal cabinet members. I consider him among the country's foremost historical figures and on behalf of the government, I offer condolences to all his family members," said Najib.

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Umno Veteran Khir Johari Dies Of Heart Attack ; KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 19 (Bernama) -- Umno veteran Tan Sri Mohamed Khir Johari died Sunday, believed to be of a heart attack, in his house at Suasana Central Condominium at Jalan Tun Sambanthan in Brickfields. He was 83. Khir Johari held several key positions in Umno including as secretary-general. He was among the longest-serving cabinet minister since 1950s till his retirement in 1983.

His son, Zairil, 23, told Bernama his father appeared healthy when having breakfast with the family this morning. However, he suddenly had breathing difficulties and fell off from his chair while watching television at about 10.30am. He said his family called for an ambulance and the medical personnel, who arrived 10 minutes later, confirmed his father had died.

At the Heroes' Mausoleum, where the burial was carried out in the evening

Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohamad Sidek Hassan said in a statement that the government had agreed for the late Khir Johari to be given a state funeral in appreciation of his contributions to the country.

Taking a last look

Zairil said funeral rites would be performed at the National Mosque before his burial at the Heroes' Mausoleum at 6pm. Khir Johari suffered a stroke in March 1981. Khir Johari, fondly called "Pak Khir", is survived by nine children, five of whom are girls. His first wife Puan Sri Kelsom @ Che Tom Abdul Rahman, whom he married in 1943, died on Sept 20, 1994 Sept 1994. He later married Puan Sri Christine Lim in February 1996. Khir Johari, who was born in Kampung Kancut, Alor Star, was a teacher at the Sultan Abdul Hamid College in 1945 before entering politics. He served as Education Minister, Trade and Industry Minister and Agriculture Minister. He was also appointed Malaysia's ambassador to the United Nations in New York, to Mexico and Brazil. Khir Johari was also active in sports. He held important positions in sports bodies including as Badminton Association of Malaysia president, Sepaktakraw Association of Malaysia president and Bodybuilding Association of Malaysia president. Among his sweetest and most memorable achievements is leading the national badminton squad to win the coveted Thomas Cup in Jakarta in 1967.

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Umno Loses Veteran Politician In Khir Johari
; November 19, 2006 17:56 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 19 (Bernama) -- Tan Sri Mohamed Khir Johari, who died today, has a colourful political career, which can put to shame many current politicians in terms of experience and exposure. Fondly called as "Pak Khir", he was born on Jan 29, 1923, in Kampung Kancut, Alor Star, received his early education at Sekolah Rendah Jalan Bahru, Alor Star, and Sekolah Sungai Korok in Kedah. He pursued his studies at the Sultan Abdul Hamid College in Alor Star and obtained his Malaya Certificate of Education (MCE) in 1932. In 1966, he was conferred Doctor of Law by Universiti Malaya, Honorary Doctor of Education and Science by the De La Salle College in Manila, in 1967 and received Honorary Doctor of Letters from Universiti Pertanian Malaysia in 1987.
Khir Johari, who is fond of the saying "You are where you are because of the people who prayed for you", made his foray into politics in 1946 at the young age of 23 when he joined Saberkas, an active independence movement when the then
Malaya was struggling for independence, as its secretary-general. Five years later, he made a decision that changed his life, when he embraced Umno.

He had a meteoric rise in Umno, becoming the party secretary-general in three years and served in the powerful position for a year. In the 1955 Legislative Council Elections, he won the Kedah Tengah seat on an Alliance ticket. In 1957, he became the Kuala Muda Umno division chairman and retained the Kuala Tengah seat in the country's first general election in 1959. He retained the seat in the 1964 general election and was reappointed Umno secretary-general for the second time two years later.
He defended the Kedah Tengah parliamentary seat, later known as Kuala Muda, for six terms until the fifth general election in 1978. He was drafted into the government as a member of administration in 1956 when he was named Assistant Minister of Economic Affairs. Since then, he served as a minister in four different portfolios. He was independent Malaya's first Education Minister, Commerce and Industry Minister (1960), Agriculture and Cooperative Minister (1962), again Education Minister (1965), reappointed Commerce and Industry Minister (1969) and Trade and Industry Minister (1972).

At an award presentation ceremony by Prime Minister Datuk Seri AbdullahHe was appointed Minister Without Portfolio in 1973 when he was sent as the Malaysian Ambassador to the United Nations in New York and as ambassador to Mexico and Brazil. Khir Johari stood out as a man who declined titles and honours in line with his principle not to accept any titles while in politics, rejected offers of Datukship before accepting the "PNM Award" from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong in June 1986, which carries the "Tan Sri" title. He also politely turned down an offer for a title from the Bruneian government because the award carried a life pension. Besides his hectic political life, Khir Johari was also actively involved in sports and environmental organisations. His vast experience and contributions to the nation would be sorely missed not only by Umno but all Malaysians, especially those who knew Pak Khir on a "first-hand basis".


Blogger Dek Mat said...

Rest in peace Pak Khir. We already miss you...

10:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the last of its golden era Malay leader. A loss to all Malaysian especially to the non-bumi community Chinese,Indian & Sikh.

Rest in peace Pak Khir.

3:18 PM  

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