KUALA LUMPUR: The late Tun Abdul Ghafar Baba will always be known as a leader who was willing to go to the ground to settle the peoples problems, said MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting.
Ghafars leadership qualities, he added, made him a unique and outstanding leader.
Tun (Ghafar) had contested and won nine times in the general election, which is a record of the peoples support for him. He rose through the ranks as a grassroots leaderand never forgot to care for the poor and the underprivileged.
Ghafar was humble and did away with official protocol even when he was the Deputy Prime Minister, which endeared him to the people, Ong said in his motion to express the partys condolences on Ghafars death at the Dewan Rakyat.
Ghafar, 81, died of heart, lung and kidney complications at 7.34am on Sunday.
Ong said Ghafars relationship with the MCA was very close and special, especially when the party underwent a leadership crisis in the 1980s.
During that period Ghafar played an important role to help MCA, and members will always remember his contributions to the party, he added.
MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu recalled an incident when he told Ghafar, who was then Deputy Prime Minister, that some former estate workers were living without electricity and water supply after the estate was sold off.
Ghafar immediately approved a RM30mil allocation to supply electricity and water for these people, Samy said in his motion of condolence.
Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, who represented the Barisan Nasional MPs, said he had known Ghafar since 1962 and worked together in many political campaigns to get the peoples support for Umno.
Razaleigh added that Ghafar was not ashamed to tell everyone that he came from a poor background and would go to the ground to help the people solve their problems.
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