PETALING JAYA: Former Science, Technology and Environment Minister Tan Sri Law Hieng Ding breathed his last at 4.56am on Christmas Day.
He was 82.
His wife Puan Sri Ngui Soon Leng confirmed the news with the media. They have three children.
The former Sarikei MP and Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) deputy president held the ministerial post from 1999 to 2004.
When contacted, SUPP president Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian expressed sorrow over Law's death, saying it was a huge loss for Sarawak and the party.
“We lost a great Sarawakian who served and fought for Sarawak in the Malaysian cabinet for 27 years (as the Science, Technology and Environment Minister from 1990 to 2004), as well a loyal SUPP party member and leader,” said Sim, adding that Law was also a close family friend.
“I have known him since I was a child,” he added.
He also expressed regret that he was unable to get a road in Sarikei named after Law while he was still alive, as recognition for his contributions to the constituency as MP from 1982 to 2008.
Dr Sim said Law’s wake would be held on Wednesday (Dec 26) and Thursday (Dec 27) at the Nirvana Memorial Center in Sungai Besi from 10am to 10pm.
Memorial services will also be held at two churches during those two days.
Law’s family has respectfully declined all white packets, which are typically presented to bereaved Chinese families at funerals to help pay for funeral expenses.
According to See Hua Daily News, Law’s remains will be flown back to his hometown in Sibu on Friday (Dec 28).
Law started his political career in 1972 and served as MP for 27 years.
He graduated from Nanyang University in Singapore in 1961 with a Bachelor’s degree of Commerce in Accountancy and Banking.
After that, he returned to his hometown, Sibu and served in the district council from 1964 to 1981 before becoming the MP of Sarikei in 1982.
Law also authored several books, including Environmental Governance in Malaysia: Insights and Reflections, published in 2003, and his own biography, In Pursuit of Integrity and Justice - Autobiography of Tan Sri Dato Seri Law Hieng Ding, published in 2012.
He continued to serve in the interests of the Sarawak state and its people even after he stepped down as an MP in 2004.