BY NATASHA JEE & JULIE NGADAN
KUCHING: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg paid his last respects to the late former Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Simon Dembab Maja at his residence in Tabuan Jaya here on Monday (Jan 24).
Together with the chief minister in paying their last respects were Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi, Modernisation of Agriculture and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom and State Legislative Assembly Speaker Datuk Amar Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar.
Abang Johari described the passing of the late Simon as a huge loss to the state.
“Simon was the former deputy chief minister of Sarawak after he won the Sarawak Election in 1970 under the leadership of Tun Datuk Patinggi Abdul Rahman Yakub.
“For me, he had contributed to the political stability in the 1970 and with him being one of the leaders of the state, it contributed to the stability of the state and it became the foundation of a coalition government.
“Following that, Sarawak had very good political stability,” he said.
Meanwhile, on Sunday (Jan 23) evening, State Secretary Datuk Amar Jaul Samion also paid his last respects to Simon.
The late Simon, who is also a founding member of Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), passed away at a private medical centre in Kuching on Saturday (Jan 22).
He is survived by his wife Datin Rosalind Sitie Jemeni, three children, three grandchildren and two great grandchildren.