By HO LEE PING
Translated by DOMINIC LOH
Sin Chew Daily
Thank you Tok Nan! Thank you for making it possible for Sarawakians to lift their heads up again in Malaysia.
Although it had been said that the CM's health had been steadily declining of late, people who love him, who have felt all that he did for the state, and who have benefited from his people-friendly policies, including me, have hoped the Almighty would generously grant him a few more years.
Many understand that Adenan once had a close shave with death, and it wouldn't be that easy to pull through a second time, many were grief-stricken when news of his death arrived.
"You have fought the good fight" instantly flashed past my mind. Indeed, in less than three years since he took office, Adenan did so much for the state of Sarawak, the effort he put in way more than what his physical conditions would permit.
I attended several of his press conferences during the state election campaign last April, witnessing with my own eyes how he dragged along his exhausted body in order to win a hard fought war.
Adenan had definitely given his all to clinch the impressive victory in the state election. He was rewarded handsomely for his input, but also because of the tremendous physical exertion, he paid a very heavy price, one that eventually claimed his precious life yesterday.
Last February, I joined the Media Chinese team to have an exclusive interview with him. Although for countless times he insisted that each day alive was a grace from the Almighty, a veritable "bonus", I then believed he said so with all sincerity.
All the things he did for Sarawak, including his all-out fight for the rights the state had lost for half a century, were not done for his personal gain, but the well-being of all Sarawakians.
Thank you, Tok Nan. Thank you for making it possible for Sarawakians to lift their heads up again in Malaysia.
Thank you for your open-mindedness and moderation that have made the state a gem in the eyes of West Malaysians, a role model for the entire nation to emulate.
Thank you for your dedication that has allowed Sarawak and all her people to feel he "envy" of West Malaysians in under three years. When our cousins on the Peninsula describe with envy and admiration all that you've done for us, we simply couldn't help but feel the incomparable pride and honor to be a part of this state.
Thank you, Tok Nan, for allowing us, who have grown so sick of politics, to once again believe that we still have a noble politician like you who would contribute selflessly for this land.
You once said you wouldn't want to stay in office forever, and would leave after one term. Unfortunately you left us too fast before even finishing your first term.
We weep because of you, because of a leader whom we all respect from the bottom of our hearts.
We feel sad and at a loss, worrying about the future of the state in your absence.
Perhaps you have had in mind who should take over your job. While the choice of your successor is important, whether he will carry on with your moderate and open-minded polices and complete the unfinished negotiations and efforts remain our greatest concern.
The guessing game is on soon after your departure. Who among your three deputies -- Douglas Unggah, James Masing or Abang Johari -- will take over you? Or even the much talked about Awang Tengah?
Indeed, the choice of your successor will have a strong bearing on the future of Sarawak. We are more concerned that all the effort you have put in will not go in vain.
Tok Nan has done all he could, be it the fight against illegal logging or corruption, and the history of Sarawak will have a new chapter because of him.
"While some have died, they live forever in our hearts." Adenan was once such man.
You have fought the good fight. Rest in peace, Tok Nan!