Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Khir accorded state funeral


FINAL FAREWELL: Christine and her sons Zairil (left) and Yusri standing near Mohd Khir’s flag-draped coffin as people come to pay their last respects before he was buried at the Warriors Mausoleum in Kuala Lumpur.
She said he choked on the food and was breathing heavily and coughing. “I asked my children to call the ambulance but it was too late. “I love him so much. How can I live without him? It was difficult to take care of him but I just loved doing it, “ she said between sobs. Khir's third daughter Roselina, 55, said she was informed of her father's death at about 1pm while attending a wedding.

“I last saw him last year after he performed his haj and I was a little shaken when told about his death,” said Roselina, who is a performing arts lecturer at Universiti Malaya.

Roselina said she was in the midst of writing a bibliography of her father and was sad that it would never be finished.

“He is well remembered for his words that the country came first and him second. We made it our lives' motto,” she said at the national mosque.

Khir leaves a wife, nine children and several grandchildren.

His remains were brought to the mosque at 3pm where about 300 people had gathered.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak who arrived at the mosque at 5.30pm joined the crowd in performing the sembahyang jenazah led by mosque imam Datuk Kamaruddin Zakaria.

Khir was buried after Kamaruddin read the final rites at the Warriors Mausoleum at 7pm after Maghrib prayers.

Family members took turns to sprinkle scented water and flower petals on the grave.

“I am saddened by the death of Khir as he was among Umno personalities who had contributed to the success of our country.

“What more, he was one of the first members of the Federal Cabinet and certainly one of the main personalities in the country’s history. We will remember his contributions and services to the nation and people.

“On behalf of the Government, I would like to extend my condolences to his family,” said Najib.

From Hanoi, M. VEERA PANDIYAN reports that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi described the passing of Khir as a great loss to the country.

Describing Khir as “one of the notable founding fathers of the nation”, Abdullah said Malaysia would always value his contributions as a political leader and community and social service icon.

“As Malaysians, we feel a deep sense of loss at his demise. He has served the country with excellence.

“Personally, I am very sad as I had known him for a long time. I wish to convey my deepest condolences to his family,” he said before leaving for home after attending the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit.

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