PETALING JAYA: Tun Salleh Abas, who was Lord President from 1984 to 1988, passed away today at 3:20am just days after testing positive for Covid-19.
He was 91.
He was last reported on Jan 15 to be receiving treatment at the intensive care unit of Hospital Sultanah Nur Zahirah in Kuala Terengganu.
Bar Council president Salim Bashir Bhaskara said it is indeed a sad day as Tun Salleh Abas’ passing was a definite loss to the nation.
“We at the Bar Council send our condolences to his family and his loved ones,” he told theSun.
Salleh headed the country’s judiciary from 1984 until the constitutional crisis of 1988 when he was removed from his position, along with several other senior judges in the Supreme Court.
The 1988 Malaysian constitutional crisis also known as the 1988 judicial crisis was a series of events that began with the Umno party elections in 1987.
Salleh was laid to rest at the Sheikh Ibrahim Islamic Cemetery in Jalan Pusara, Kuala Terengganu.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin led a list of ministers and former ministers in conveying their condolences to Salleh’s family.
“My family and I convey our deepest condolences to the late Salleh’s family on their loss. He was an icon of our nation’s judiciary,” Muhyiddin said in a Facebook post.
In a statement, PAS information chief Kamaruzaman Mohamad said Salleh’s passing was a huge loss to the country especially in judicial and legal areas.
“The late Mohamed Salleh once won the Jertih state assembly seat in 1999 and was appointed as an exco member when PAS formed the government in Terengganu. Our deepest condolences to his family members,“ he said.
Subang MP Wong Chen said in a tweet that while he never met Salleh, the latter’s passing had triggered many personal feelings in him.
“Tun Salleh, may you rest in peace and may the judiciary continue to be inspired by your personal trials and tribulations in defending democracy and the Federal Constitution,“ he said.
Several other prominent figures who conveyed their condolences to Salleh’s family were former Health Minister Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, as well as Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan.
Former law minister Datuk Mohd Zaid Ibrahim said Salleh’s passing is a huge loss to Malaysia as we have lost an exemplary jurist who defended the independence of the judiciary till the very end.
“I am saddened by his demise. I was fortunate enough to be able to get the government to compensate him and the other judges who were dismissed when I was a minister. He was a fighter for judicial independence when he was removed and will go down as a judge who defended the basic structure of the Constitution. He defended the law as it stands,“ said Zaid.