Former KL mayor Elyas Omar dies

KUALA LUMPUR: Former Kuala Lumpur mayor Elyas Omar died while receiving treatment at the National Heart Institute (IJN) here today. He was 82.

Elyas was the third mayor of Kuala Lumpur from 1981 to 1992.

He was also president of the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) from 1985 to 1993 and it was during his tenure that Malaysia won the prestigious Thomas Cup in 1992.

According to his nephew, Syahril A Kadir’s Facebook post, Elyas died at 7.15pm.

“It is with a heavy heart that I’m announcing the passing of my uncle Tan Sri Elyas Omar, who was the former mayor of Kuala Lumpur, at the National Heart Institute at 7.15pm. Al Fatihah,” he posted.

Meanwhile, current KL mayor Mhd Amin Nordin Abd Aziz, when contacted, said the Kuala Lumpur City Council (DBKL) would make all necessary arrangements for Elyas’ funeral.

“We will manage everything, but the time and location have yet to be ascertained,” he said.

Penang-born Elyas was appointed KL mayor on Nov 1, 1981 and stepped down from the post on Sept 17, 1992.

On Jan 6, 2005, he was appointed the Commissioner of Sports under the youth and sports ministry and held the post until April 14, 2008.

A close friend, Azman Ujang, who is also Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) chairman, said the last time he met with Elyas was early this year.

“I never saw him again after that, but we remained in touch through phone calls. His health deteriorated since the end of last year due to the heart disease he was suffering from.

“His death is indeed a huge loss for the country, and his deeds and contributions in developing Kuala Lumpur will always be remembered,” Azman said.

On Elyas’ passion for badminton, Azman said the former BAM president had always hoped Malaysia would one day revive the glory days of badminton and that national shuttlers would continue creating success stories in the international arena.