Veteran journo Pak Samad dies

KUALA LUMPUR: Veteran journalist Tan Sri Abdul Samad Ismail (pic) died at the Pantai Medical Centre at 5.58pm Thursday after suffering from lung infection.

Abdul
Samad, 84, affectionately known as Pak Samad, was admitted to the
hospital on Aug 24 after complaining of difficulty breathing.

He leaves behind wife Puan Sri Habibah Hamid and 10 children.

His first wife Hamidah Hassan died June 2, 1990.

According to Bernama,
Abdul Samad’s body will be taken to his house at No 2, Lorong 16/7C,
Petaling Jaya and it will be laid to rest after Friday prayers.

Pak Samad touched many lives through his writings which were radical at times but always thought-provoking.

Born
and educated in Singapore, Samad’s career in journalism started in 1940
after he finished his Senior Cambridge certificate. He started working
as a cub reporter in the newly-established Malay daily, Utusan Melayu.

As
a Malay nationalist, Samad fought for independence from the British
through his writings and the newspaper sympathetically covered news of
student movements and labour agitations.

He also joined hands
with left wing Malay nationalists in pushing for de-colonisation and
met with anti-colonialists of all races including Indonesian
revolutionaries fighting for their own independence against the Dutch.

He went on to head Berita Harian and later on The New Straits Times
group as its managing editor. He was arrested in 1976 under the
Internal Security Act. He was only released in 1981 after which he
re-joined the NSTP group as its editorial adviser. He retired from
journalism in 1988 and was honoured by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong in
1992.

He was also awarded the title Pejuang Sastera (Literature
Champion) for his accomplishment in the literary and journalistic field.

In
1994, he received the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Journalism, Literature
and Creative Communications Arts in recognition of his role in
championing national independence, cultural revival and democratic
nation building.

Some of the novels he has written include Kail Panjang Sejengkal (1963), Patah Sayap Terbang Jua (1966), Tembok Tidak Tinggi; Orang Jauh (1967), Menduga Lautan Dalam; Menimba Yang Jernih (1968), Sutinah (1975) and Hud (1995).

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