Malaysian High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam Ismail bin Haji Salam passed away yesterday, at his official residence in the diplomatic enclave.
His body was flown by the Royal Malaysian Air Force to his hometown of Matang in Kuching, Sarawak at 3pm. Ismail, leaves a wife and two children.
The sudden passing of the Malaysian High Commissioner has shocked and saddened the Diplomatic Corps and the Malaysian expatriate community in Brunei, who paid their last respects at his official residence.
Among the Cabinet Ministers who paid their last respects were Minister of Religious Affairs Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman; Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin; and Acting Minister of Energy Dato Seri Paduka Awang Haji Matsatejo bin Sokiaw, as well as senior officials from various ministries.
According to an official from the Malaysian High Commission in Brunei Darussalam, Ismail was rushed to the Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha (RIPAS) Hospital, after being found unconscious at his residence between 6.30-7am. He was pronounced dead at around 8.30am.
Ismail had previously served in Poland, Indonesia, Austria and Kenya, apart from being appointed as Secretary of the Europe Division of the Malaysian Foreign Ministry, before his appointment as High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam. According to Malaysian news reports, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tengah Ali Hasan expressed his sadness at Ismail’s sudden demise, saying that his death was a great loss to Malaysia, particularly Sarawak.
Meanwhile, Pakatan Harapan Sarawak Secretary and Senator Alan Ling Sie Kiong expressed his condolences to Ismail’s family, and said that the federal government would provide all the required assistance and support to the family members in this time of bereavement.