VIPs and ordinary folks attend Jamaluddin's funeral

VIPs and ordinary folks attend Jamaluddin's funeral
The casket of the late Tan Sri Dr Jamaluddin Jarjis.

KUALA LUMPUR - Puan Sri Dr Kalsom Ismail, the widow of Tan Sri Jamaluddin Jarjis, had few words to say after his funeral at the National Mosque here.

"I'm not ready to speak." And that was all she said.

The funeral was attended by dignitaries from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to ordinary people such as cancer survivor Rahana Mahamud, 54, who was touched by how Jamaluddin had visited her at home in Pahang after her surgery in 2012.

When the casket was carried into the mosque, Jamaluddin's son Ikhwan Hafiz was among the pallbearers, besides men from the ceremonial battalion of the 1st Royal Malay Regiment.

The 63-year-old former minister and ambassador was laid to rest at the Heroes Mausoleum at 5.50pm.

Earlier at Jamaluddin's house, friends, relatives and VIPs crowded the place to pay their last respects.

Among them was Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who described Jamaluddin, fondly known as JJ, as a polished diplomat.

"I remember making trips to the United States where he was the Malaysian ambassador once," he said.

"It was clear he was skilled in diplomacy because he could hold discussions with just about anyone in Washington DC."

Astronaut Datuk Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor remembered Jamaluddin as the person who sent him to space. (Jamaluddin was the Science, Technology and Innovation Minister then.)

"On the occasions that we would go jogging together, I always ended up laughing so much. The laughter alone felt like a workout," he recalled.

At the Kuala Lumpur Hospital mortuary earlier, the air was solemn as friends and family members gathered.

There was heightened security to ensure that they could mourn in private.

At 11am, Ikhwan Hafiz walked out of the mortuary, telling the press that "hospital officials have officially identified the body of my father."

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