Man who gave moniker Proton Saga to name national car dies

SUNGAI PETANI: A retired soldier who coined the moniker, ‘Proton Saga’, to win a competition to name the first model of the national car died at his home in Taman Nuri near here yesterday.

Ismail Jaafar was 71.

He succumbed to medical complications at 3.10pm, surrounded by family members, a day after being discharged from the hospital.

Ismail is survived by widow, Sariah Abdul Rahman, 69, and children, Mohd Sariffuddin, 46, Siti Sarismahan, 42, and Siti Sarismahanim, 37.

Mohd Sariffuddin said his father’s health began deteriorating since late last year and often sought medical treatment.

“He also had heart disease, apart from suffering from kidney problems and diabetes, and it was only on Thursday that he was discharged from hospital and on Friday, he passed away surrounded by family members.

“Alhamdulillah (Praise be to Allah), his remains were buried at the Raudahtus Solihin Amanjaya Muslim cemetery at 10.55 last night,” he added.

Ismail, who retired more than 20 years ago before winning the Proton competition to name the pioneer national car, was an Army staff sergeant and his last post was as chief clerk at the Service Corps Training Centre in Taiping, Perak.

In July last year, Ismail, from Penang, had performed the Haj pilgrimage with his wife.

The name, Proton Saga was selected from a total of 102,823 entries received by the Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional (Proton) as the organiser, and the first edition of the national car was launched by then prime minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on Sept 1, 1985. — Bernama

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