PETALING JAYA: Prominent social activist Thasleem Mohd Ibrahim, who headed the National Indian Rights Action Team (NIAT), died today. He was 68.
Thasleem, who was also the patron of the Malaysian Indian Education Transformation Association (Mieta), had been suffering from breathing difficulties.
He passed away at the KPJ Damansara Specialist Hospital at 10pm, surrounded by over 100 family members and friends.
“He was a great soul and a great servant of the Tamil community. Though he was a Muslim, he also served other communities such as Hindus, Christians and Buddhists,” said Mieta chairman Elangovan Annamalai.
Elangovan also praised Thasleem for his dedication and commitment to education, having “adopted” 50 schools by supporting them financially and thus benefitting over 15,000 children. Thasleem himself adopted 16 children.
Born on Dec 25, 1949, Thasleem had a difficult childhood.
He was very vocal on numerous issues, including inter-religious matters. In 2014, he condemned the Selangor Islamic Religious Department for raiding the Bible Society of Malaysia and more recently spoke in support of S Deepa in her custody battle for her children.
He also voiced support for the Great Alonioners Trading Corporation Bhd (Gatco) settlers, who put up a blockade to prevent a private company from entering their village to carry out logging activities.