Zam laid to rest, Mahathir pays last respects

Former information minister Zainuddin Maidin was buried at the Kampung Klang Gate Muslim Cemetery in Hulu Klang. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad paid his last respects today to former information minister Zainuddin Maidin who died yesterday.

Mahathir arrived at 9.15am at the Surau At Tarbiah in Taman Melawati and attended the funeral prayers along with hundreds of family members, other relatives and friends.

He chatted with the next of kin of Zainuddin, who died of a cardiac arrest yesterday at the age of 79 at the Serdang Hospital.

Zainuddin, better known as Zam, was admitted to the Putrajaya Hospital on Nov 12 and then transferred to the Serdang Hospital.

He was buried at the Kampung Klang Gate Muslim Cemetery in Hulu Klang, about 500m from the surau.

Among those at the surau to pay their last respects were Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo; national laureate A Samad Said; former second finance minister Nor Mohamed Yakcop; former deputy information minister Khalid Yunus; former Media Prima Berhad chairman Johan Jaaffar; Bernama chairman Azman Ujang; actor, filmmaker, director and producer Yusof Haslam and actor Rosyam Nor.

Gobind, when approached, expressed condolences to the family and said Zainuddin’s service as the information minister will always be cherished.

Meanwhile, Azman said Zainuddin will be remembered not only as a former minister but as a mentor and reputable journalist who was firm in his stand.

Zainuddin was the chief editor of the Utusan Melayu Group before he ventured into politics.

Johan said Zainuddin was a true journalist to the very end.

“He was a warrior who expressed his criticism without fear and had focused on addressing chauvinism. This was a part of Tan Sri’s struggle,” he said.

Nor Mohamed said Zainuddin had held on to his principles in the face of criticism.

Yusof described Zainuddin’s passing as a great loss to the arts industry.

“We have lost a minister who was familiar with artists. He was also an advocate of the Malay language at Utusan. His demise is a great loss to our country,” he said.

Zainuddin leaves a wife, Zaiton Zainol Abidin, and four children – two sons and two daughters.

Son Zairin, 44, said his father always found time for the family despite his busy schedule.

“My father also helped his friends a lot,” he said.