: The death of former Chief Minister Datuk Seri Abu Zahar Ithnin, 74, who was a great leader, teacher and politician, is a big loss to the people of Melaka, said current Chief Minister Datuk Idris Haron.
Idris said the late Abu Zahar was an exemplary leader and that youths of today must emulate his achievements.
"His departure is a big loss to the people of Melaka. My condolence to the family. May we pray for his soul to rest in peace among the great people," he told reporters after paying his last respects, here, tonight.
Abu Zahar died of kidney complications at his house in Merlimau today at 6pm and would be buried at 12.30pm tomorrow.
Meanwhile, another former Chief Minister of Melaka Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said Abu Zahar's death was a great loss since he was a great leader who had always been with Umno in its struggles.
"He had always given priority to Umno's struggles instead of his own. As a highly educated leader, he was always looked upon by others and commanded much respect from others," he said in a statement today.
Meanwhile, in Kuala Lumpur, Tan Sri Dr Rais Yatim who is the adviser on social and cultural affairs in the prime minister’s office also said Abu Zahar’s passing was a big loss.
"He was not only a good friend of mine but more than that, he was a polite and well-mannered leader. He loves local food and likes to listen to 'Dondang Sayang' and traditional songs," he told Bernama, tonight.
Rais said Abu Zahar made immense contributions when he was the Melaka Chief Minister.