KUALA LUMPUR: Long-serving civil servant turned corporate figure Raja Tun Mohar Raja Badiozaman died from pneumonia at the age of 81 at the Pantai Medical Centre here yesterday.
The Perodua chairman passed away at 3.19am. His family members were at his bedside when he died.
He leaves behind wife Toh Puan Norella Talib, 67, three children and nine grandchildren.
Born in Kuala Kangsar, Raja Tun Mohar had an impressive record of four decades in the civil service and served as Special Economic Adviser under three Prime Ministers - Tun Abdul Razak, Tun Hussein Onn and Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Upon leaving public service in 1988, he joined the corporate world and became the longest-serving chairman in Malaysia Airlines (18 years), helped spur the growth of Danaharta and provided direction for the second national car project, Perodua.
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Syed Putra Jamalullail, the Raja Permaisuri Agong Tengku Fauziah Tengku Abdul Rashid, Dr Mahathir, royals, ministers and corporate figures were among those who paid their last respects at his home in Lorong Damai 10, Ampang.
“His contribution to the nation is great. He has served the country to the last moment of his life,” Dr Mahathir said.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi also conveyed his condolences to the family.
“Raja Tun Mohar was instrumental in the formulation of the New Economic Policy,” he said.
Described as a true gentleman and one who placed national interest as a priority in life, Raja Tun Mohar was also a devoted husband and father.
His son, Raja Mazhar Mohar, 40, said he was a “great, loving man.
“No matter how busy he was he would always make room for our family,” said the Petronas Dagangan manager.
“Since young, he told me to work towards serving the nation, to work for the country and not for my own pocket,” he said.
Defence Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, whose father was Raja Tun Mohar's school and college mate as well as his colleague said: “He was such a dedicated leader and his integrity earned him high respect from civil servants.
“He played a great role in the country’s growth and is a role model for the younger generation,” said Najib.
Perodua Auto Corp Sdn Bhd executive director Shigehara Toda, 48, said he was shocked to learn the business philosophy of Raja Tun Mohar when they met six years ago.
“He told me that national interest comes first. Business is business but decision-making in Perodua always involved lots of considerations on the impact on the nation’s interest.”
Raja Tun Mohar was laid to rest at the Ampang Muslim Cemetery.
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