By Hakim Hayat and Siti Hajar
One of the country's most prominent figures, YAM Pengiran Indera Mahkota Pengiran Anak (Dr) Kemaludin Al-Haj ibni Al-Marhum Pengiran Bendahara Pengiran Anak Haji Mohd Yassin passed away peacefully yesterday afternoon in his sleep and was laid to rest at the Royal Mausoleum in Bandar Seri Begawan.
His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha, His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah and other members of the royal family along with senior government officials were present at the late YAM Pengiran Indera Mahkota Pengiran Anak (Dr) Kemaludin Al-Haj's residence along Jalan Jangsak to pay their last respects prior to the burial.
The family home was also filled with relatives, friends and acquaintances reciting the surah yaasiin during the tahlil as part of the Islamic customs, which was followed with the mass Jenazah prayer led by the State Mufti.
Family members said that the 82-year-old statesman was seemingly well earlier in the morning and had retired to his room to rest. It was around 12.30 in the afternoon when a family member tried to wake him the Yang Amat Mulia didn't respond. Paramedics were immediately called in.
The late YAM Pengiran Indera Mahkota Pengiran Anak (Dr) Kemaludin Al-Haj is survived by his wife, Pengiran Anak Datin Paduka Hajah Siti Rafiah, six children including three daughters and three sons and 16 grandchildren.
As the people mourned the loss of a true Bruneian who had sincerely devoted his time to perfect the country's religious education among many others, Legislative Council member YB Dato Paduka Haji Idris bin Haji Abas described the late YAM as being a very nice and humble person.
"He was also very warm and accommodating," he added. Under the late YAM's leadership at the Legislative Council "everyone felt they were well taken care of and everyone knew him as a good listener", he recalled.
YB Dato Idris said the late YAM appreciated LegCo members' expertise, was open to ideas and was very diplomatic in addressing and considering them. As an individual who was part of Brunei's development through many decades, YB Dato Idris said the late YAM had vast knowledge of Brunei's history.
"He liked to talk about historical events, which made him more admirable," he told the Borneo Bulletin.
"I am deeply saddened and feel very sorry for his departure. I certainly feel the loss and my deepest condolence goes to his family," he said.
For Legislative Council member YB Orang Kaya Maha Bijaya Awg Hj Othman bin Uking, the late YAM's leadership and wisdom would be the most remembered. "He was very successful when he was the Speaker," he said and added that Legislative Council proceedings were always smooth.
He told to the Borneo Bulletin that the late YAM's role as the Legislative Council Speaker along with his many other achievements had garnered him due respect from the people.
- Borneo Bulletin
(10th January 2012)