GEORGE TOWN: As a rookie photographer in the 1980s, Ng Ah Bak felt privileged to have witnessed the boldness of newsman A.R. Amiruddin (pic).
“He would keep throwing questions at the interviewees until he was satisfied with what he had.
“His work ethics and passion for journalism were second to none.
“You could always count on him as he always did things with energy and determination.
“Whether it’s an assignment in the jungle, sea, mountain or any high-risk areas, he would always love to see the action there,” said Ng, 62, who followed Amiruddin to cover the 1985 Memali tragedy in Baling where 14 people were killed in a shootout.
One of Amiruddin’s big stories was an interview with CPM chairman Musa Ahmad who decided to give up in his fight in the 1980s.
On Sunday, Amiruddin, who wrote the column Ruminations in StarMetro, passed away due to complications from colon cancer at his house in Taman Lip Sin. He was 78.
He was a journalist with The Star for 19 years and the defunct National Echo for 10 years.
But Amiruddin did not stop writing.
He continued to contribute to The Star even as his health declined.
Amiruddin’s son Romi Erawan, 28, said his father was bedridden for the past one month.
“We only woke him up for meals and to change his diapers.
“His condition was bad. He was an outgoing person and I knew he had a lot of things to tell us but he just couldn’t do it,” he said when met at the Sungai Nibong Besar cemetery where his father was laid to rest yesterday.
Star Media Group managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai said Amiruddin taught him basic reporting when he was a junior reporter in Penang in the 1980s.
“He had a strong network of contacts from every level.
“No one was too small nor too big for him.
“He was very open-minded, kind, soft spoken, humble, honest and helpful,” said Wong.
Former Star Media Group news editor (regional) K. Suthakar said Amiruddin had remained outgoing, taking up the challenges thrown at him even in the later years of his career.
“All his former colleagues only had good words for him,” he said.
Besides Romi Erawan, Amiruddin leaves behind his wife Siti Zaleha Hashim, 65, daughter Emilia Erwani, 41, and five grandchildren aged between two months and 16.
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