poster by Mob, pics by the Bru
Kiara, 5 Sep 2008 - Some said the Makam Pahlawan (Heroes' Mausoleum) should have been A. Samad Ismail's final resting place.
There are two ways Pak Samad - God bless his soul eternally, - might have responded. One, he would have laughed out loud. Guffawed. And then, "Betol ker?" Or, two, he'd stab you with his signature 7-letter word.
A daughter, eyes red from her loss, smiled at the Makam Pahlawan suggestion. Bapak would want to be close to Mak, she said. So there at Kiara, just a leap away from his late wife, Pak Samad was today laid to rest.
What is the measure of a great man? It's what he did when he was alive and how we remember him. Pak Samad was a journalist, a nationalist, pejuang bangsa , pejuang bahasa. He was a teacher, a leader. He fought to free this country from the shackles of colonialism. He helped free us as a nation.
Dr M paid his last respects this morning at the Samad's residence in Section 16, Petaling Jaya. The Tun, who ordered Samad's release from ISA upon becoming PM in 1981, had also visited the Tokoh Wartawan at Pantai Hospital the other day when Samad was still conscious.
Pak Lah joined the final prayers for Pak Samad at the UIA mosque. Anwar Ibrahim came a couple of times when his hero was in hospital; so did Daim Zainuddin. Musa Hitam and Najib, too. Lim Kit Siang paid his last respects this morning and described Samad as Malaysia's "grand old man" and "journalist extraordinaire". Cabinet Ministers, including Muhyiddin, Shahziman, Shahrir, and Shabery, came. Syed Husin Ali, who was a student at the University Malaya in Singapore when Samad was accompanying Tunku Abdul Rahman on his campaign to gain Malaya's indenpendence from the British in 1957, was there, night and day.
Journalists and newspaper vets who worked and learnt under Pak Samad came. PC Shivadas, A. Kadir Jasin, Rejal Arbee, Philip Matthews, Aziz Hassan, Rose Ismail, Azam Aris, Rashid Yusof, Rusdi Mustapha, Shamsul Akmar, Hishamudin Aun, Manja Ismail, Ahmad A. Talib, Yani, Kee Thuan Chye, Aishah Ali, Khalid Ahmad, Charles Peter, and many, many more.
And the Senior Minister of State from Singapore, Mr Zainal Abideen, was there together with an official of the Singapore High Commission in KL. Samad was not just a son of Singapore; he was a great son of Singapore. With Lee Kuan Yew, he founded the People's Action Party (which has ruled Singapore until today).
Samad was detained in Singapore twice before Merdeka under the Internal Security Act for going against the colonial power. His third ISA detention, which was also the longest, was ordered by the Government of the country whose independence he fought for, with sword and pen, heart and soul. A true Malaysian hero.
Farewell, Bapak is daughter Nuraina's good-bye to her beloved father.
More tributes on the blog ...
23. Kee Thuan Chye's tribute to the man
24.From an oil rig, Mat Salo's Selamat Tinggal Pak Samad
25. Allahyarham Tan Sri A. Samad Ismail by Tehsin
26. Great loss!! A. Samad Ismail by Sexy Judge
27. A Towering Malaysian by Mob's Crib
28. Marina Mahathir's Pak Samad 1924-2008
29. The passing of a Legend by I am a Malaysia
30. Farewell Pak Samad by Galadriel
31. Heroes' Mausoleum for Pak Samad by Apanama
32. In Memory of Pak Samad by O.B.E