Tributes pour in for Salahuddin


His legacy: Salahuddin at the launch of a Rahmah Raya event at IOI City Mall in Putrajaya.

PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub passed away at Hospital Sultanah Bahiyah in Kedah yesterday. He was 61.

The death of the Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Minister was confirmed in a Facebook post by his daughter Fatihah Salahuddin last night.

As his death was confirmed tributes poured in from his Cabinet colleagues and other national leaders.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said that Salahuddin’s demise was a personal loss to him and the country as the nation had lost a hardworking minister.

“I am much affected as I have lost a good friend as he was with me in the struggle until the end of his life. His deeds can never be repaid.

“He is well known for his unflawed character by both his friends and foes. A person who is hardworking, trustworthy and responsible. Rest, my dear friend,” said Anwar.

Deputy Prime Ministers Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof also said Salahuddin was known for his earnestness in carrying out his duties.

“He was much respected, humble, committed and dedicated to his responsibilities as a minister,” said Ahmad Zahid.

“We have lost a humble and hardworking minister,” said Fadillah, who is currently in Saudi Arabia.

His fellow Johor MP and MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong said the loss would be felt by the Johor people.

“All his deeds to the people and the country will be remembered forever. His passing is a big loss to the people, especially to Johoreans,” said Dr Wee.

Amanah president and Agriculture and Food Security Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu said it was indeed a very sad day.

“It is a very sad day for all Amanah members as we have lost our dear deputy president Salahuddin,” said Mohamad.

Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil said Salahuddin had made significant contributions to the country.

“He introduced the concept of Payung Rahmah, Menu Rahmah, Jualan Rahmah and many more to help those in need,” said Fahmi.

Meanwhile, Opposition Leader and Perikatan Nasional secretary-general Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin said that although they were on opposite sides, he held Salahuddin in high esteem.

“He was a politician I respected as he was a mature, progressive and pragmatic leader,” said Hamzah.

Caretaker Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Sanusi Md Nor said Salahuddin was a “gentleman”.

“He was always composed and calm. In our early years in PAS, we used to attend PAS programmes together. Once we slept under the table. He was always humble and committed to his struggle. Condolences to his family,” said Mohamad Sanusi.

Salahuddin, who was Johor Pakatan Harapan chief and Amanah deputy president, was in the intensive care unit of Hospital Sultanah Bahiyah in Alor Setar after he suffered a brain haemorrhage on Friday.

On July 21, the minister’s press secretary Syakirin Husnal had said that Salahuddin was rushed to the hospital after experiencing nausea and vomiting.

Born in Pontian, Johor, to Malay-Chinese parents, Salahuddin graduated from Universiti Putra Malaysia and worked in a bank before he ventured into politics.

In 1999, he joined PAS and contested the Johor state seat of Benut but lost.

He then contested for the parliamentary seat of Kubang Kerian in Kelantan in 2004 and won. He retained the seat in the 2008 general election.

In 2013, he returned to his hometown in Johor and contested the parliamentary seat of Pulai but lost to Barisan Nasional’s Nur Jazlan Mohamed.

However, in 2018, after breaking away from PAS three years earlier and forming Amanah, he contested under the Pakatan Harapan ticket and won both the Pulai parliamentary seat and the Johor state seat of Simpang Jeram.

He retained Pulai in the 15th General Election last year and the Simpang Jeram state seat in the Johor state election in 2022.

He is expected to be laid to rest today in his home state.

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