KUALA LUMPUR, May 26 – Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today paid tribute to veteran journalist Datuk Ahmad A. Talib, saying the passing of his dear friend was a big loss to the nation, especially the world of news and communication.
The prime minister said Ahmad had made a huge contribution to journalism and played a major role in empowering media institutions in the country.
“I had known Ahmad for a long time and I had great respect for him. I am sure many others also shared such true friendship.
“He will always be remembered as a generous, humble and very loving person,” Muhyiddin said in a post uploaded onto his Facebook page tonight.
Ahmad, fondly known as Tok Mat, died of liver cancer at the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre here at 5.42 pm today. He was 69.
In his post, Muhyiddin expressed his condolences to Ahmad’s family and prayed for them to be strong and patient in their moment of bereavement.
“May the late Ahmad be placed among the righteous,” he said.
Ahmad began his career in journalism as a reporter with Bernama, the Malaysian National News Agency, in 1972.
He then moved on to the New Straits Times Press (NSTP) and rose to become the New Straits Times (NST) group editor.
Ahmad was buried at the Raudhatul Sakinah Muslim Cemetery at Kem Perdana Sungai Besi after the Isyak prayers today.
“A great loss to the country,” – Saifuddin Abdullah
“A great loss to the fields of journalism and volunteerism,” was how Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah described the death the veteran national journalist.
“He was active, but not just at chairing meetings and doing his job. This is a great loss to the country.
“I hope young journalists and social activists will emulate the late Ahmad as it’s rare that someone is active in two fields that are not related,” Saifuddin said when met after attending the burial.
Saifuddin also described him as a bilingual as well as proficient in writing in Bahasa Melayu and English.
“He was very thorough in his work… and his writings were easy to understand. Another thing that’s unique about him was that… he was perfectly bilingual. He could write in Bahasa Melayu and English,” he said.
Saifuddin said he knew Ahmad since 1990 and once worked together when they joined the Bosnia Action Front in 1995.