KUALA LUMPUR - Tears flowed freely at the Bukit Kiara Muslim cemetery where scores of people turned up to pay their last respects to legendary singer and actress Datuk Sharifah Aini Syed Jaafar.
The songstress once dubbed the "Elizabeth Taylor of Malaysia", who turned 61 last Wednesday, breathed her last at 1.26am on Saturday after being warded in the Intensive Care Unit of Damansara Specialist Hospital since Tuesday for breathing difficulties.
She was diagnosed with lung fibrosis, also known as interstitial lung disease, two years ago. Her only son, Aliff Omar Ali, close family members and friends were by her side. Sharifah Aini's remains were buried before Zohor prayers.
Among those who extended their condolences over the demise of the legendary songstress, fondly referred to as "Kak Pah", were Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
"I am saddened by the demise of Datuk Sharifah Aini. I hope that she gets a place among the faithful. Al-Fatihah," he tweeted. Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin also tweeted his condolences.
"There is no replacement for the loss of Datuk Sharifah Aini. May her soul be blessed and be placed among the faithful. Al-Fatihah."
Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein also extended his sympathies. "My condolences to the family of Biduanita Negara Kak Pah. Her deeds and contributions to the entertainment industry are huge. Al-Fatihah," he tweeted.
At the cemetery, singer and actress Uji Rashid who started off her career with the same music label as Sharifah Aini, recalled what a strong and caring person she was.
"We used to do a lot of things together and even shared the same hotel and room. Our sons were also born around the same time.
Sharifah Aini's ex-husband Ali Bakar described the singer as a very loving and generous person.
"She was very loving and caring. Sometimes 'ter-over' (too caring). Her contribution to the industry was huge. She was also among the few Malay singers who recorded a number of English albums and had scores of hit songs."
"She was very generous and contributed a lot to charity. She had many adopted sons and daughters and cared for them. She was one of a kind," he added.