KUALA LUMPUR, May 14 — Tributes are pouring in for Malay Mail editor-in-chief Datuk Wong Sai Wan, who died earlier today from a heart attack.
Politicians including former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong, Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali and the Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari have conveyed their condolences via social media.
“The world of journalism has lost a role model and a veteran who is well respected.
“Condolences to Datuk Wong Sai Wan's family for his departure earlier,” Najib said in a Facebook post.
Najib said Wong was professional and experienced, and had a very cheerful personality.
“His writings have always caught my attention.
“May his family be strong to face this struggle,” he said.
Similarly, Wee wished Wong's family strength and condolences.
“Sad and shocked to hear of Datuk Wong Sai Wan's passing.
“He was Malay Mail's editor-in-chief and former Seremban bureau chief and executive editor of The Star.
“A long-time news media veteran and a true mentor to many of our current generation of journalists. He will be dearly missed by many,” he said.
Sai Wan, who was 59, was earlier today admitted to the Subang Jaya Medical Centre (SJMC) for heart-related issues.
According to his son Wong Chee Mun, Sai Wan came into the hospital at 5.30am and was admitted to the emergency room at 6am. His heart stopped beating.
“They tried CPR on him but couldn't revive him,” he said.
In a separate Twitter post, Azmin too expressed shock over Sai Wan's passing.
“Utterly shocked to learn of the passing of veteran journalist and Malay Mail’s editor-in-chief Datuk Wong Sai Wan.
“My deepest condolences to his family and loved ones,” he said.
Amirudin said Sai Wan's passing represented the loss of another giant in the media industry during a crucial period in the country's fight against Covid-19.
Veteran and former MCA leader Datuk Lee Hwa Beng, on the other hand, expressed gratitude for Sai Wan's contribution in the former's political career.
“RIP, my friend! You have played a big role in my long political career.
“Thanks for the memories!” he said.
Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim also took to Twitter to express his condolences.
Wong’s passing was both sad and shocking, said Datuk Naim Mohamad, the strategic advisor to Product Malaysia Showcase International Business Association & Malaysia China Tradelink Association and head of the Malay Consultative Council’s Halal Cluster.
“A veteran in the media circle and mentor to many current journalists. He was a good-hearted man who was always approachable.
“He will be dearly missed by many, especially me,” Naim said.
A wake for Wong will be held from 11am to 6pm on May 15 and 16 at Xiao En Centre on 1 Jalan Kuari in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur.
Due to current movement control order (MCO) standard operating procedures (SOP), only 50 people will be allowed at one time.
However, there will be a waiting area should those present exceed the permitted number.
A funeral service is set for 10am on May 17, with a restriction of 15 people.
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong has also expressed his condolences to Sai Wan’s entire family.
In a statement, the Agong also expressed his sadness with Sai Wan’s passing and hoped that the Wong family would be calm and resilient in the face of their ordeal and sadness.
The Agong also said he was grateful for Sai Wan’s service to the Malaysian community and described the latter’s death as a great loss to the journalism world.
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