Penang government express condolences over Tok Non's passing

Audrey Dermawan

GEORGE TOWN: Penang state government has expressed condolences to the family of former state Umno chief Datuk Seri Zainal Abidin Osman, who died at the Ampang Hospital this morning.

Zainal, 58, died following following a battle with multiple myeloma - a type of blood cancer in the plasma cells.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said despite differences in political views, he believed their intention and struggle were the same – for a better Malaysia.

“I have known him (Datuk Seri Zainal) to be a leader with calibre and well-liked by many.

“On behalf of the Penang government, I once againt extend our heartfelt condolences to his family in their time of bereavement,” he said in a statement today.

Chow also hoped that his family would remain strong in facing the matter.

Zainal breathed his last at 2.07am at the Ampang Hospital in Kuala Lumpur.

His body has been brought back here for burial at the Sungai Acheh Mosque’s burial ground after the Asar prayers.

News of his death was confirmed by his brother, Datuk Omar Osman, the former vice chancellor of Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM).

Zainal Abidin, who is affectionately known as Tok Non, was the former Umno supreme council member as well as the former special adviser to the Rural and Regional Development Ministry.

He relinquished all his posts in the party prior to the 14th General Election.

Zainal is survived by his wife Datin Seri Shafiqa Melvin, children and grandchildren. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd