KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 21 – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has described the death of literary genius Tan Sri Prof Dr Ismail Hussein as a big loss for the nation. “My condolences to Dr Ismail’s family. May his soul be placed among the faithful,” he said in his latest tweet Tuesday. The former president of the Federation of National Writers Association of Malaysia (Gapena) died at 9.36 pm yesterday at the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre in Petaling Jaya. He was 82.
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said Ismail was resolute in his efforts to elevate the standard of Malay literature and language. “For as long as I knew him, he was a dedicated man who was calm and courteous,” he said in his message of condolence to Ismail’s family. He said when Ismail headed Gapena, the association was successful in elevating Malay literature and language, and fostering unity.
“In fact, nobody can deny his vast knowledge, contributions and sacrifices made in improving Malay literature,” he said. Muhyiddin said Ismail’s death was a big loss to the nation as he was a Malay literary figure who was highly respected and would be missed by family, friends and anyone who knew him. “Let us pray that Allah blesses his soul and places him among the faithful,” he said.
Ismail’s remains were buried at the Bukit Kiara Malay cemetery, Petaling Jaya at about noon today. He is survived by wife, Puan Sri Rugayah Abdul Rashid and four children – two sons and two daughters.