KUCHING, Jan 14 (Bernama) — Even in his last few hours while sleeping on a hospital bed, the late Tan Sri Adenan Satem, was constantly thinking of his beloved state.
Sarawak’s fifth Chief Minister passed away at the Sarawak General Hospital Heart Centre in Kota Samarahan due to heart complications last Wednesday, two weeks short of his 73rd birthday.
In a candid Facebook posting Saturday, his eldest daughter Rafidah said her father had looked very frail when she arrived from Kuala Lumpur to be with him during the last few days of his life at the hospital.
“Principled, dependable, honest, kind and just a bit grumpy on the outside but super soft and loving on the inside.
“I feel that a big chunk of my heart had gone with you but alhamdulillah I find solace in my prayer and in the faith that we will all be together again one day,” she wrote.
Describing her father’s condition, Rafidah said even in his last final hours Adenan was constantly thinking of his beloved Sarawak and even muttered in his sleep: “I have commitments tomorrow…”
She added her daddy’s dedication to Sarawak was not unique because all Sarawakians are dedicated to their state.
“But his position of strength in negotiating a better deal for Sarawak and Sarawakians was based on his honesty and integrity.
“He also saw our multiracial background as a strength, an opportunity and not an hindrance. He felt that anyone who wanted one race to proper at the expense of other races was not welcome in the state and would be better off on an island,” she said.
She said Adenan was admitted on Saturday and was looking much better the next day and with the doctor’s diagnosis, the family thought he was well on the road to recovery.
“In his final night in this world, I was alone with my daddy, sitting next to his bed with two nurses seated on their desk nearby. Of course we had no idea that it was his last night.
“If we had, the whole family would have been there. I will never forget this night. It was a still and very quiet night,” she wrote.
“The sound of his breathing was repeatedly interrupted by the sound of the machine used to pump up the air mattress on which he lay. He looked so peaceful and calm and I could not stop staring at him.
“Many times he kept on waking up and shifting his position in the bed.
“I would adjust the elevation on his bed and rub his back to make sure he was more comfortable and sleep better,” she said.
Occasionally, Rafidah added he would asked for water to quench his thirst.
“A few times he would mutter in his sleep. Every time it was related to work,” she said, adding that her father was always patient and refused to give in to “bitter and twisted thoughts” if things did not go his way.
“He read profusely and recommended everyone to read and read and read…He avoided temptations and refrained from double standards.
“He was an honest politician and transparent and had often said that if a politician did not want to help his people, he should not be a politician,” she said.
“He refused to participate in gutter politics. He refused to politicise social, cultural and religious issues to his advantage,” she said.
But she said like all, he had his faults but was the perfect father.
In her posting, Rafidah also thanked all the specialists, doctors and nurses and others who had attended to her father for their dedication.
“You tried your very best and for that I am grateful. Allah always has the final say. And to all Sarawakians too, thank you for all your expressions of love and respect to my dad,” she added.