Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem has finally spoken up about the death of his grandson, 22-year-old Azreal Mahmud (pic), over a week after a fatal accident near his home at Santubong, about 30km from here.
He “always thought I would be the one to go first,” Adenan wrote in a Facebook post on Tuesday night.
“Mere words cannot express the grief when we have to say goodbye to our young ones,” Adenan, 72, wrote under a black and white photograph of his late grandson.
Adenan – who has spoken many times publicly about his own brush with death due to heart disease before becoming the Chief Minister two years ago – said the passing of young ones was particularly heart-wrenching as they are “taken away before their prime”.
The post was linked to Yatie A Bedos, Adenan’s daughter. Yatie’s profile photo was of her and Azreal, who was one of three boys and a girl.
It is believed Azreal was killed at about 3.30am on May 29 after a collision between a Toyota Vios and a motorcycle. The car slammed into a tree and burst into flames.
Thousands of condolences have poured onto Adenan’s Facebook page since his post last night.
Although awareness of the tragedy had spread after the accident – which was reported in local Chinese dailies but without naming the victim – the Chief Minister’s post last night was the first official comment from the family.
Other family members have also begun posting photographs and their own mourning messages.
Over Gawai Dayak, which began on June 1, some had wondered why Adenan had not made any visits to open houses, which is the customary practise for those in high office during major festive seasons.