Former Menteri Besar Pahang Datuk Abdul Rahim Abu Bakar was laid to rest on Friday 25th 2009 at the Taman Kosas Muslim Cemetery after having succumbed to a heart attack on the evening of Thursday. He was 66 years old.
I read several remarks made by UMNO politicians regarding Datuk Abdul Rahim who all claimed that his demise is a great loss to politics, particularly UMNO. Some even commended Datuk Rahim for his his high values, but failed to explain clearly what it meant.
I want to remember Datuk Abdul Rahim as someone who is generous, humble and approachable, despite his high standing in society. My first and only encounter with him was when he was the Menteri Besar of Pahang in 1978. I was a student of the Malaysian Armed Forces Staff College, and the college was on a study tour to the state of Pahang.
Listed on the day's itinerary, was to be a dinner hosted by the Pahang state government, and it was Datuk Abdul Rahim who was the main host.and who was then just 35 years old; an age that I shared with him. I thought to myself how fortunate was this young man who at the age of 35 is now the Chief Executive of the state.
As I progressed in my career, I was posted to Temerloh, Pahang on two different occasions and in two different capacities (1982 and 1994 respectively). Of course, by this time Datuk Abdul Rahim was no longer the Menteri Besar, for he only lasted three years i.e. from 1978 to 1981 or thereabout.
One wonders why did Datuk Abdul Rahim lasted only three years? This was where the truth was not revealed, and was kept under wrasp for fear that the reasons behind the brief tenure of Datuk Abdul Rahim as the Menteri Besar may be related to the affairs of the Pahang palace. I do not wish to speculate, but during my two tours in Pahang, I was exposed to several versions of the stories relating to the brief tenure of Datuk Abdul Rahim as the Menteri Besar of Pahang. Many felt that Datuk Abdul Rahim was a victim for not wanting to succumb to the demands of the palace.
I believe in the defence of the truth, and shielding away the truth will only create many more lies and false perceptions. The scandals, corruption and abuses that permeates our society today is the result of people who no longer see truth as virtuous, but would rather be a persistent liar in order to shield the truth from being known by others. The PKFZ mother of all scandals is one sterling example to quote.
I wish to express my heartfelt condolence to the family members of Datuk Abdul Rahim and pray that his soul now rests among those that Allah swt has chosen.
CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION