KUCHING: Datuk Amar Dunstan Endawie Enchana, who served as deputy chief minister of Sarawak from 1977 to 1979, passed away yesterday at the age of 78.
He died at Saratok Hospital at 4am following illness. He leaves behind a wife and five children.
Endawie was once the president of the now-defunct Sarawak National Party (SNAP) and former Krian assemblyman.
He also served in several posts in the state cabinet, including as minister for local government, and he was also appointed High Commissioner of Malaysia to Australia and New Zealand upon retirement from active politics.
His body was already released from the hospital and brought to the family’s residence at Letong Sawa in Saratok.
The funeral is expected to take place next Friday (April 18). He will be laid to rest at Saratok Memorial Hill at Bukit Perabun, Saratok.
A former SNAP senior vice-president, Dato Sri Daniel Tajem, when contacted yesterday, reminisced on the working relationship he had with Endawi and contributions made by Endawi to the state political arena.
He saw the late Endawie as a very influential figure in manoeuvring SNAP’s entry into the state Barisan Nasional (BN) fold in 1976.
According to Tajem, Endawie had also played a key role in ensuring that the party was given a minister’s post and (Tan Sri) Leo Moggie became a member of the state cabinet.
“I would like to express my condolences to the family.
We have worked very closely during our SNAP days, we were very well acquainted.
I am deeply saddened by his passing,” recalled Tajem who was also former deputy chief minister.
When speaking to The Borneo Post yesterday, Tajem said that he will always remember the late Endawi as the person who brought him into politics in 1968.
“I was living close by with the late Endawie at Bamfylde Road (Kuching). He talked to me on participating in politics although I was unwilling at the time,” continued the former Bukit Begunan assemblyman.
Tajem became an elected representative for SNAP on Sept 13, 1974 when he won the Lingga-Sebuyau constituency.