KUCHING: Former deputy chief minister Datuk Amar Dunstan Endawie Enchana passed away on Friday at the age of 79.
The native rights champion, whose varied political career saw him serving in the Sarawak Cabinet across various portfolios, and followed by a stint as the Malaysian High Commissioner to New Zealand, breathed his last around 4am at Saratok Hospital.
Endawie served as the deputy chief minister from 1977 to 1979.
The cause of his death has yet to be ascertained.
The Iban politician was also a former Sarawak National Party (SNAP) president, a now defunct state Barisan Nasional component party.
During his tenure as SNAP chief, he was also among the state’s three deputy chief ministers up to his resignation in June 1980.
His political career began in the pre-Malaysia era. When the first state Cabinet was formed, Endawie was the local government minister.
His contemporaries then included the state’s first chief minister, the late Tan Sri Stephen Kalong Ningkan, as well as the late Datuk Amar James Wong, who was the first deputy chief minister.
Known for speaking his mind, Endawie continued to express his political viewpoints as recently as the last 13th general election, when he openly spoke out against SPDP president Tan Sri William Mawan’s nomination as Saratok MP.
At the time, Endawie was more supportive of the then incumbent Jelaing Mersat to contest for another term.
Outside politics, Endawie was chairman at the Saratok Memorial Hills. He is survived by his wife and five children.
The funeral will be held on April 17 at Taman Indah in Saratok. Endawie’s remains would be laid to rest at the Saratok Memorial Hills.