Saturday, August 13

Mutalib’s death a terrible loss – Jeffrey


KOTA KINBALU: The passing of Mutalib M.D. or Abdul Mutalib bin Abdul Daud is a cause for deep grief, for it is a terrible loss in the long fight for justice in Sabah, according to Bingkor assemblyman Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan.

In a statement to pay tribute to Mutalib, Jeffrey, who is also the chairman of STAR Sabah, said he was badly shaken and deeply saddened by Mutalib’s sudden death due to stroke in Kuala Lumpur on the morning of June 29. According to his wife, he developed a sudden breathing problem and collapsed.

“He was a rare fighter for justice for Sabahans although he was a Peninsular Malaysian,” Jeffrey said.

“Being a fearless writer exposing misdeeds such as the infamous Project IC, he became a tireless journalist vigilante who struck fear into the hearts of corrupted leaders. He will never be forgotten as the writer of the book IC Palsu Merampas Hak Anak Sabah, and IC Projek Agenda Tersembunyi Mahathir, among others.”

Mourning the loss of whom he considers a close friend, Jeffrey also admired Mutalib’s capabilities as a writer-publisher entrepreneur, surviving very well with various writing and publishing projects, including the maintenance of his highly popular news portal.

“He founded the much feared news portal which had been responsible for the exposes of so many misdeeds of those in power. He was once offered RM2.5 million by a certain party to take over the portal, but he declined because the fight for justice was more important to him than mere money,” Jeffrey said.

“He had also endured a lot of threats and physical assaults from proxies of politicians who didn’t like his bravado in exposing the politicians’ corrupt ways.

“He was scheduled to testify before the RCI this week but what a tragedy that time was not on his side. Now we only have his books to tell us the truth. We love his work, but his efforts have been cut short. We pray that other courageous fighters for justice will step forward like he did, but we also fear that there may never be another one like him.”

Mutalib was also scheduled to attend a school reunion of former schoolmates from SMK Bandaraya (formerly called SMK Menggatal) at a hotel here yesterday, but it was immediately cancelled by the organizers upon hearing of his passing.

“Let’s all pray that his family will have the forbearance and fortitude in passing this loss,” Jeffrey said.