KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): People from all walks of life have turned up at Masjid Ar-Rahah, Kampung Kerinchi here to pay their last respects to the late Tun Rahah Mohamed Noah.
Many were there well before 9am on Saturday (Dec 19), the time set for members of the public to start paying their last respects, in compliance with the stringent standard operating procedure (SOP), including having their personal particulars and temperatures recorded.
One of them, former Masjid Jamek Sultan Abdul Samad imam, Mohd Syukri Ismail, 31, said Rahah was a well-respected personality.
He said Rahah, the widow of second prime minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein and mother of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, had contributed greatly to the country.
"Personally, I was impressed by her traits and leadership. Her deeds were immense and should be remembered by all, " he told Bernama.
Rahah's grandniece Irma Awang, 40, described her as a gentle, patient and caring person.
"She seldom lost her temper, and even when she was angry her words would be filled with advice. I'm deeply affected by her passing and lost for words, " she said.
Mohd Azrul Mohd Isa, 30, also said he was fascinated by Rahah's loving nature and looked up to her like a mother.
"I was impressed by her genuine concern, resoluteness and generosity in helping society, especially women, " he added.
Datuk Kong Sooi Lin, a former employee of her son Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazir, said Rahah was a good mother who raised her children well.
"Her fortitude in raising her children was a great success worth emulating, " said Kong.
Also saddened by her demise is Penny Teo, 55, who described Rahah as a gentle and friendly person.
"She was always humble and kind in her words, " said Teo, a worker of Datuk Mohamed Nazim.
Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Rahah had made enormous contributions to assist Tun Abdul Razak Hussein when he was the second prime minister.
Dr Mahathir who was close to Tun Razak's family described Rahah as among the last from the independence generation who contributed invaluable services and sacrifices to the country.
"(She), is the 'merdeka' generation... not many people of the merdeka generation are still alive. Maybe (she) was among the last.
"She helped Tun Razak when he was the prime minister..., " said Dr Mahathir who could not hold back his tears after paying his last respects at Ar-Rahah Mosque in Kampung Kerinchi.
Dr Mahathir, who was accompanied by his wife, Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali and son, Datuk Seri Mukhriz, was among the national leaders and acquaintances present to pay their last respects to Rahah.
Among her duties as the wife of the country's top leader, Rahah proved women could also render effective contributions to the development of the nation by being involved in several women group activities in the country.
She was active in Ibu Umno (now Wanita Umno) and was the founder of Petaling Jaya Wanita Umno apart from welfare works for the benefit of women.
Science, Technology and Innovation Minister, Khairy Jamaluddin said the passing of Rahah was a big loss to the nation.
"Tun Rahah made tremendous contributions to the nation as the person assisting Tun Razak to rebuild the country, " he said.
Several Opposition politicians were also present to pay their last respects such as Ketari assemblyman, Young Syefura Othman, Seputeh MP Teresa Kok, Bakri MP Yeo Bee Yin and Lembah Pantai MP Ahmad Fahmi Mohamed Fadzil.
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Facebook that Rahah was a source of strength, courage and inspiration for her family and for all Malaysian.
"She stood resolutely beside her husband, Tun Razak, when he led Malaysia at a critical period in its history.
"She will be remembered for her devotion to country and family," he posted on Facebook, and appended a photo of Rahah.
Rahah, 87, the widow of Malaysia's second prime minister Abdul Razak, died at the Prince Court Medical Centre here yesterday afternoon.
Rahah will be buried beside the grave of her sister Tun Suhailah Mohamed Noah, the mother of Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, at Masjid Negara's Heroes Mausoleum.
She married Tun Abdul Razak on Sept 4,1952, and they were blessed with five sons – Najib, Mohamed Nazir, Ahmad Johari, Datuk Mohamed Nizam and Mohamed Nazim. – Bernama