According to his granddaughter Cheri Gilong Avriett, Abdul Ghani died of old age at 12.12 am at the Hospital Queen Elizabeth here.
In sharing news of Abdul Ghani’s passing on Facebook, Cheri and his son-in-law Norman Radzuan asked the people to pray for his soul to be placed among the righteous.
Abdul Ghani had served under the first three prime ministers of Malaysia, with his last post being Works and Public Service Minister in 1978.
Abdul Ghani, who was born on May 30, 1932 in Kampung Matan, Ranau, was one of the Sabah leaders involved in the formation of Malaysia.
He had also served as federal minister in the justice and transport portfolios.
Abdul Ghani, who was UPKO deputy president in 1964, had followed local political developments even after his retirement from politics.
Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Taufiq Yap Yun Hin said Abdul Ghani’s death was a big loss to the country and the people of Sabah.
“He was one of the four recipients of Anugerah Tokoh Malaysia award given in conjunction with Malaysia Day celebration in 2010 for his instrumental role in Sabah’s participation in the formation of the Federation of Malaysia in 1963,” he said in a Facebook posting.
Dr Taufiq said UMS had also awarded him an honorary doctorate in 2017.