KUALA LUMPUR – Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has described the demise of Tan Sri Dr Jamaluddin Jarjis as a big loss, not only to the family members, but also to the country.
He said he had known the Rompin Member of Parliament for a long time, including the time when the latter had served as a cabinet member under his tenure.
Describing Jamaluddin as an ‘activist’, Dr Mahathir said: “It (his demise) is a bigh loss. He has been with me for a long time, also in the cabinet.
“But of course since I retired, I’ve not been working with him. I extended my condolences to his family,” he told reporters after paying a visit to Jamaluddin’s family members at The Mines, Seri Kembangan, here today.
Asked when was the last time he met Jamaluddin, Dr Mahathir said it was during the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA15) exhibition recently, where both of them had a discussion about the housing projects under Perbadanan Perumahan Rakyat 1Malaysia (PR1MA).
In a helicopter crash incident at Semenyih, Selangor yesterday evening, Jamaluddin was listed as one of six victims.The others were Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s principal private secretary Datuk Azlin Alias, the pilot, Capt Clifford William Fournier; operations assistant Aidana Baizieva; Jamaluddin’s bodyguard Razakan Seran and businessman Datuk Tan Huat Seang.
All the bodies were recovered by a search and rescue team, comprising personnel from the Fire and Rescue Department and Department of Civil Defence, and brought to the Kuala Lumpur Hospital for post-mortem and identification.
Meanwhile, former Chief Minister of Melaka Tan Sri Dr Mohd Ali Rustam said he was shocked upon hearing about the incident yesterday.
“I have been on the helicopter he was travelling in, it is one of the best. I am a loss for words, I have known Jamaluddin for more than 20 years,” he said describing Jamaluddin as a very good friend.
Mohd Ali added that he and Jamaluddin were supposed to meet up soon to discuss about housing projects for the people. – BERNAMA