KOTA SAMARAHAN: It is a sombre atmosphere at the Sarawak General Hospital Heart Centre here as state leaders and the public arrive to pay their last respects to Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem, who passed away at 1.30pm Wednesday.
Many were teary-eyed as they reminisced and shared personal experiences of the late Chief Minister.
Among those at the heart centre included Sarawak Governor Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri James Masing, Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh, assistant tourism minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin and former deputy chief minister Tan Sri Alfred Jabu Numpang.
Taib said the late Chief Minister had improved governance and strengthened the state's economic growth.
"This is indeed very sad. I took him (Adenan) into politics a long time ago.
"I knew then he had great leadership qualities, solid thinking and very analytical.
"He served the state well with utmost sincerity. In fact, he left behind a goverment in a great a shape as ever, even better than when I handed it over to him," said Taib after paying his respects at the centre here.
Masing said Adenan had done many things to benefit the people during his tenure as chief minister.
"I have lost a friend, Puan Sri Jamilah Anu lost a husband, his children lost a father and Sarawak has lost a very good and gutsy leader, who called a spade a spade!" he said, adding it was now up to Adenan's successor and state representatives to realise the late leader's vision for Sarawak.
Wong said: "This is one of the saddest moments for the people of Sarawak. He was a great leader.
"Although the (late) Chief Minister was a man of few words, he had a great vision and commitment to bring the state to new heights. He was a man who got things done," said Wong, adding that he last met Adenan on Friday.
He recalled how Adenan, when admitted to the National Heart Centre (IJN) in Kuala Lumpur years ago, continued talking about how to develop the state and the people.
"That was the kind of person he is," Wong said.
Lee said he had known Adenan for 30 years and described him as a great mentor and leader, whose only concern was for the people.
"We have lost a great leader today. He was sincere and committed in carrying out his duties. No words can describe his contribution to the state," he said.
Jabu, meanwhile, described the Adenan as a great friend of over 40 years.
"He has left a legacy. He was a good leader and a good friend," said Jabu in between sobs.
By 3.30pm, over a hundred of people had gathered outside the heart centre to show support and provide solace to friends and relatives of the late Chief Minister.
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