KUALA LUMPUR – The nation today lost an exceptional leader with the passing of Datuk Fuad Hassan, who was described as a patriotic figure known for his remarkable courage and being outspoken on issues.
The Special Affairs Department director-general had demonstrated the spirit of patriotism since his student days when he championed the establishment of a private school, Yayasan Anda, together with a group of local university graduates in 1971.
In his quest to fulfil his aspiration in seeing the Malays excel in education, Fuad, together with his counterparts, fought to raise awareness on the importance of education through the National Association of Muslim Students Malaysia (PKPIM) and the Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (Abim).
Fuad also campaigned to raise the spirit and enthusiasm of Malay youthsÂ to be great orators and debaters through the Malaysian Youth Council, the main body governing national youth organisations and students.
For his notable achievements, Fuad won the World Youth Award and the Prime Minister’s Award in 1990, the Outstanding Young Malaysian award by Jaycees International in 1992 and Outstanding Service award at the National Youth Day in 2005.
In the political arena, Fuad, son of prominent Quran teacher Tan Sri Haji Hassan Azhari, started as an Umno member in Puchong, Selangor, in 1980 when he was 28.
He had then just completed his degree in literature in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.
His political career developed after he became Ampang Jaya Umno Youth chief in 1988.
In 1990, he won the Hulu Klang state seat for the Barisan Nasional (BN) after defeating Mohamad Fahmi Ibrahim of Semangat 46 in the eighth general election.
In 1993, Fuad was elected chief of the Lembah Keramat Umno Division.
He retained the Hulu Klang seat for the second term after defeating Minhat Sulaiman of Semangat 46 in 1995 in the ninth general election.
Although he was defeated by Azmin Ali of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) in the 1999 general election, Fuad continued with his struggle through Jasa, of which he was appointed the director-general in 2009.
Fuad died at 12.20 am today at the Tengku Ampuan Afzan Hospital (HTAA) here due to a heart attack. He was 62.
His family members were by his side when he died. – BERNAMA