By BORNEOTODAY REPORTERS
KOTA KINABALU: Badil Zaman Fazul Rahman was a man who was never shy to share his business acumen and contacts, and played an instrumental role in connecting businesses between Sabah and North Kalimantan, Indonesia.
More recently, he turned his sights towards Bosnia Herzegovina, though that dream may not be achieved now. The Membakut-born, Kuala Lumpur-based businessman passed away on Sunday morning, succumbing to a stroke.
He was 61.
His body has been flown back to Kota Kinabalu and was buried in Membakut immediately after prayers on Sunday evening. Badil, as he is popularly known, left behind his wife, two daughters and a son.
Badil founded a non-governmental organisation called Society Empowerment and Economic Development of Sabah (SEEDS) through which he actively promoted economic and social development programmes and activities.
Supported by fellow members comprising academics, business personalities and professionals, he devotedly pursued the agenda of building a progressive society in Sabah.
Of all his commitments, closest to his heart was helping Sabah to find new markets to expand its economy. This led him to facilitate business-to-business connections with hugely populated regions like North Kalimantan and Bosnia Herzegovina.
He believed the direction, driven by businesses with support from governments, would help scale up the state’s economy.
He played a leading role in organising dialogues and forums among academicians, government officials and business players between Sabah and North Kalimantan to stir actions toward creating a Greater Borneo market of more than 25 million consumers.
The initial effort resulted in several Memorandum of Understanding signed between existing businesses from the two neighbouring regions.
Few months ago, he played an instrumental role in getting SEEDS to ink an agreement with Bosna Bank International (BBI) in Sarajevo to stimulate economic interactions between Sabah and Bosnia Herzegovina.
Commenting on Badil’s death, SEEDS fellow Dr Pamela Yong said Badil devoted his life to helping Sabah because he had a big and beautiful heart.
“He is our mentor and friend. We will forever remember his humility, his humour, wit and intellectual tenacity,” said Rahezzal Shah, a UiTM lecturer cum SEEDS Fellow.
Rahezzal said that much was done under Badil’s leadership.
“Through SEEDS, Badil wanted to see a better Sabah in Malaysia. He used to call this federation of ours as a ‘federation of interest’ – each component in the federation is unique and bound by common interest,” he said.
Please be informed that the SEEDS Raya Open House on Saturday, 30th June, has been cancelled. However please come and join us for the Majlis Tahlil and prayers for our dearly departed Datuk Badil Zaman.