Sabah’s first female deputy chief minister Ariah Tengku Ahmad dies at 86

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s first female deputy chief minister, Datuk Ariah Tengku Ahmad, has passed away at the age of 86.

Her son, Tengku Datuk Fuad Tengku Ahmad, said she passed away peacefully in her house on June 16.

“It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of my beloved Mother, Datuk Ariah Tengku Ahmad, who passed away peacefully at her residence today (Sunday), the 16th day of June 2024,” he said in a short statement.

“Ariah, known to her close friends as Irene Pritchard, was the wife of the late Brig. Gen. Tunku Ahmad Tunku Besar Burhanuddin, mother of Fuad, mother-in-law to Shirley and grandmother of Adam, Alexander and Anthony,” he said.

Fuad characterised his mother’s life as one of distinction and service.

She captained the Jesselton Athletics Team, was crowned Miss Jesselton 1956, was a radio announcer, journalist, assemblyman for Kawang, Social Services Minister and deputy chief minister, among others, he said.

“But above all, she was an amazing mother and grandmother whom we all loved and shall miss dearly,” he said.

Ariah will be buried at the Taman Memorial Tun Mustapha in Putatan near here.

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