Kit Siang grieved by the death of Tun Zahir Ismail
by Lim Kit Siang
(New Delhi, Friday): I was shocked when the DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong, Dr. Tan Seng Giaw, phoned me last evening to inform me of the death of the Parliament Speaker, Tun Mohamad Ismail Zahir.
I was at the Singapore Changi Airport just about to catch a connecting flight to New Dehli to attend a three-day conference on the restoration of democracy in Burma.
Tun Zahir is the country's longest-serving Speaker having served for 22 years for six terms from 1982, when he was appointed to the Speakership by the fourth Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mathathir Mohamad after the 1982 general election.
Tun Zahir had had a varied career, having been an elected MP for one term as well as a High Court judge. He is also a writer.
Although the parliamentary opposition had its many differences with Tun Zahir in his 22 years of Speakership, all MPs are united in one in their shock and grief at his death, which was completely unexpected although he had not been well for some time.
The parliamentary opposition, the DAP and I myself, who had been MP for the 17 years when Tun Zahir was Speaker, send our deepest condolences to his family on their latest bereavement.
* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman