KAJANG: He’s the “face” of Kajang satay. So when news came about the death of the founder of Sate Kajang Hj Samuri, Malaysians who love the grilled meat have much to share and mourn.
“The place that unites us as true Malaysians, regardless of race,” said Rozian Saini Gyan on Facebook, paying tribute to Datuk Samuri Juraimi, 73, who died yesterday.
He had suffered from stage four liver cancer, which was detected early this year following a health examination for abdominal pains, Bernama reported.
Another Facebook post, written by Asean Mokit, said: “His original store at a Chinese kopitiam is still running.
“He never forgot his roots.”
“Thanks for turning a humble street food into a multi-million dollar business.
“All future satay sellers owe you a lot,” wrote one Ronald Roy on Facebook.
Samuri’s third child, Nor Ilyana, 37, said her father had successfully undergone a heart bypass earlier this year but later discovered he had cancer.
“He had just been discharged from hospital five days ago to rest at home,” she said.
He is survived by his wife Datin Jani Mohamad Amir and five children – Norsham, Sofian, Nor Ilyana, Shafeq and Nurul Aqilah.
Samuri began his satay business in 1992 when he opened a stall in Kajang, which has since expanded to 20 outlets in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Negri Sembilan.
The Star ran a monthly People’s Food Awards three years ago and readers voted Sate Kajang Hj Samuri along Jalan Sulaiman, Kajang, as their favourite that month.
Among those who were saddened by the founder’s demise was businessman Zakaria Arifin, 54.
He had gone to Restoran Sate Kajang Hj Samuri, located next to the MRT station here, yesterday only to find it closed.
There was a notice at the entrance, apologising for the closure of the eatery “due to unavoidable circumstances” and that business would resume today.
“My wife and I studied at UKM in Bangi,” Zakaria said, recalling how his wife and he had their first date at the satay place there in 1993.
And in an apt tribute, one Kenny Teoh wrote on Facebook:
“RIP Uncle. Your satay will always be on our tastebuds.”