GEORGE TOWN: Animal lover Pak Mie passed away last night, succumbing to a brain haemorrhage following a second stroke last week. He was 58.
Born Muhammad Azmi Ismail, he leaves behind wife Halijah Idris, 68, and two children.
He was pronounced dead at the Ampang Hospital Intensive Care Unit at 11.25pm late Sunday.
Pak Mie was best known for rearing some 1,000 stray dogs and cats at a makeshift shelter next to a river in Alor Star, Kedah.
The shelter, located near Taman Sultan Abdul Halim, Jalan Tanjung Bendahara, has since come under the watchful eyes of the local and religious authorities.
In 2013, he was at the centre of a controversy after local authorities threatened to evict him from the shelter that he and his wife had operated for some 10 years.
Pak Mie and his wife, Halijah, also called the shelter home and slept together with the animals in a 30-year-old Proton Saga.
After an impassioned plea by lawmakers and animal lovers, no action was taken on the couple and they had continued to feed the strays there.
Speaking to the New Straits Times earlier, Halijah, or better known as Mak Intan, said she has accepted that he was now gone.
“We were hoping for a miracle. Looks like Allah loves him more,” she said in between sobs.
According to Mak Intan, last Thursday, Pak Mie had travelled to Kuala Lumpur to seek help for his shelter.
“He has high blood pressure and had forgotten to take his medicine. That Thursday night, he slept and never woke up,” she said.
Pak Mie was then rushed to the Sultan Mizan Military Hospital in Wangsa Maju and doctors said that he had suffered from a second stroke.
He suffered from his first stroke last April and his condition worsened since then.
The story of Pak Mie and Mak Intan taking care of the animals had won the hearts of many Malaysians after animal groups spread news about them on social media.
The couple fed dogs and cats with rice, meat and giblets in a shed, and slept in their 30-year-old Proton Saga to keep watch of their animals daily.
Today, his son and a friend are taking care of the shelter in absence of Pak Mie and Mak Intan.
Pak Mie’s remains will be first brought to his home at No 1256, Taman PKNK, Jalan Tun Razak, Alor Star (next to Giant Hypermarket) before burial this morning.