SEREMBAN: Former DAP stalwart Hu Sepang was cremated with his signature Old West-style cowboy hat, a treasured possession that he had bought on a trip to the United States decades ago.
Hu’s wife Judy Gan, 71, said the hat was the first that Hu had bought and his favourite among six that he owned.
“So we placed that hat in the casket. We know it will make him happy,” she said when met at her husband’s funeral.
He was cremated at Fairy Park in Sendayan yesterday in the presence of his family and friends.
The 73-year-old three-term lawmaker, who used to make heads turn with his signature cowboy hat, had been suffering from diabetes for years, causing both his legs to be amputated.
He died early Friday following a heart attack.
The DAP politician won the Sungai Ujong state seat (now known as Temiang) in the 1978 general election, Rahang state seat in 1982, and the Mambau state as well as Rasah parliamentary seats in 1986.
In 1990, he lost in his bid to represent the Bukit Pelandok state constituency (now Chuah).
Hu, known for trying to resolve disputes that squatters, petty traders or the common folk had with the authorities, is also remembered for being among the 106 individuals detained under the Internal Security Act in 1987 during the operation dubbed Operasi Lalang.
Gan recalled that the 46 days Hu was in detention was the most painful period for the family.
She also said that although Hu was known to be a fiery orator in the state assembly and in Parliament and was always seen to be at loggerheads with the authorities, he was never vindictive.
“Although he used to give the former mentri besar Tan Sri Isa Samad a tough time in the assembly due to their different political ideologies, they were still friends. In fact, Tan Sri used to send us hampers every Chinese New Year,” she said.
Hu had also placed a condolence advertisement in The Star when Isa’s mother died.
“I am happy that many people turned up during his wake and this goes to show they truly appreciate Hu Sepang,” she said.
A diehard Liverpool Football Club fan, Hu had the good fortune to watch the Merseysiders lift the coveted English Premier League trophy days before his passing.
Gan also revealed that Hu was uniquely named by his parents after the town in Selangor he was born in.
Hu, the third of six siblings, also had sisters literally named after Seremban, Serendah and Selangor in Mandarin, she added.
Gan, a former student of the Convent Holy Infant Jesus Seremban, said she met Hu while he was studying at St Paul’s Institution (SPI).
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