GEORGE TOWN: Many leaders were in attendance as the Consumers Association of Penang's long-time president S.M. Mohamed Idris was laid to rest at about 11am on Saturday (May 18).
Among those present at the Hashim Yahya Mosque cemetery on Jalan Perak were PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Deputy Human Resource Minister Datuk Mahfuz Omar and state exco member Datuk Abdul Halim Hussain.
State assemblymen Jason Ong and Lee Khai Loon, several other politicians, as well as business and community leaders were also there.
Earlier in the morning, the Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng and ex-chief minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon paid their last respects at the family's home in Rose Avenue.
Many Penangites also came with flowers to place on Mohamed Idris' grave.
Speaking to reporters after the burial, Anwar said Mohamed Idris had been a family friend since his father's days.
"I met him about a month ago and we had lunch and a long discussion. He is a legend, a giant of men.
"Don't compartmentalise him just as a crusader of consumers. He was very outspoken and articulate in his defence of the environment and against the excessive developments that ignore the plight of the poor.
"I am indebted to him and pray to Allah to reward him and bless his soul," he said.
Among those closest to Mohamed Idris was Penang Hindu Association president P. Murugiah.
"My father handed me to him when I was 17 years old and passed away two weeks later.
"Mohamed Idris became my father figure, mentor and boss for 17 years when I worked with CAP as a research officer.
"When I started my social welfare work and took up the task of burying unclaimed bodies at the hospital in 1987, Mohamed Idris sponsored the burial cost for the first unclaimed body.
"After that, our association went on to bury more than 550 unclaimed bodies in Penang," Murugiah said.