KOTA KINABALU: Despite retiring from politics for over four decades, the memory of the late Sabah veteran politician and former federal minister, Tan Sri Abdul Ghani Gilong, is still fresh in the mind of villager, Ahmad Shah Naing.
Ahmad Shah, 64, said when he was between the ages of seven and eight, Abdul Ghani would walk to his village in Perancangan, Ranau.
“As far as I can remember, he (Abdul Ghani) was willing to walk from Pekan Ranau if he was campaigning. He travelled through the forest, up and down hills, crossed rivers to campaign and see the village which was very poor at that time,” he told Bernama.
He said Abdul Ghani was then campaigning in his area because he was in the Ranau state constituency when the first general election was held in 1964.
“I also enjoyed a ‘kupi-kupi’ (chit chat) session with the deceased after he retired from politics but he only spoke about gardening, not politics,” he said, adding that many of his contemporaries had passed away.
Abdul Ghani, 88, died at 12.12 am today at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital here.
The news of his death was shared by his granddaughter Cheri Gilong Ariett through her Facebook page. According to her, Abdul Ghani died of old age.
Sabah Finance Minister II and State Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun was among state leaders who had expressed their condolences.
Universiti Malaysia Sabah vice-chancellor Professor Datuk Dr Taufiq Yap Yun Hin also expressed his sympathies.