Tok Non laid to rest

Shamsul Munir Safini

NIBONG TEBAL: Former Penang Umno chief Datuk Seri Zainal Abidin Osman, who died earlier this morning was laid to rest at the Masjid Jamek Sungai Acheh Muslim cemetery, here, after Asar prayers today.

Zainal Abidin or Tok Non as he was more commonly known as passed away following a four-month battle with multiple myeloma - a type of blood cancer in the plasma cells.

Hundreds of family members and well wishers gathered at Masjid Jamek Sungai Acheh to bid their last farewell to him.

Earlier, Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas came to pay his last respects to Zainal Abidin at his birth home at Kampung Sungai Setar Khecil.

He spent some time offering his condolences to Zainal Abidin’s family.

Also present was former Penang chief minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, who expressed shock when he first heard the news of Zainal Abidin’s passing.

Koh said he was in constant contact with Zainal, when both their wives were diagnosed with cancer, referring to the latter's first wife Datin Shazarina Shamsudddin who passed away in 2010.

“He was a knowledgeable man in politics and had advised me on numerous occasions while we were working together,” Koh said.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and Parit Buntar member of parliament Datuk Mujahid Yusof Rawa who also came to pay his last respects said that Zainal Abidin was an easygoing person and always opened to discussions.

“It is not easy to find someone like him in the political field, a person where one can easily meet to discuss on arising matters even though we were from different political camps,” he said.

Following his wife's passing, Zainal Abidin married Datin Seri Siti Nur Syaqila Amerol Melvin.

He leaves behind his wife and six children.

He had four children with Shazarina; Nadhir Ashafiq, 30, Nabil Ashmawi, 26, Najlaa Aina, 18 and Nafiz Asyrani, 13.

With Siti Nur Syaqila, Zainal Abidin had two children; Zayyan Sufi, 5 and Zahra Sumayya, 2.


Former Penang Umno chief Datuk Seri Zainal Abidin Osman, who died earlier this morning was laid to rest at the Masjid Jamek Sungai Acheh Muslim cemetery, here, after Asar prayers today. (NSTP/RAMDZAN MASIAM)

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