Tun Salleh Abas always firm, feared by delinquent civil servants

KUALA TERENGGANU (Jan 16): The late Tun Dr Mohamed Salleh Abas (pictured) had always been firm in all matters especially in taking action against state government officials involved in misconduct and mismanagement.

Terengganu state legislative assembly speaker Datuk Yahaya Ali, in recalling his memories of the former Lord President throughout his service with the state government said, Tun Salleh could send shivers down the spine of those who have committed such offences.

Mohamed Salleh, 91, who breathed his last at 3.20am today at the Sultanah Nur Zahirah Hospital, here due to pneumonia, was the Hisbah and Special Duties Committee chairman, when Terengganu was under PAS’ rule from 1999 until 2004.

Yahaya said Salleh was tasked with the important role of ensuring that the system of checks and balances was in place in the state government’s administration.

"He was very firm, all complaints from the public related to the state government services were given serious attention. Any government official who commits a misconduct will experience intense feeling of fear when hauled up by Tun Salleh.

"As such, there was transparent administration in the state because everyone, especially state government officials and staff understand the consequences if they take their jobs lightly or are not trustworthy," he said when contacted by Bernama today.

Meanwhile, former Kuala Terengganu MP Mohd Abdul Wahid Endut, 64, said PAS took  quite some time to persuade Salleh to contest in the Jerteh state seat in the 1999 general election.

"However, after urging that his service was needed and his vast experience in the legal field would be advantageous to the state, he finally relented and won in the election.

"Throughout my time in the executive council working alongside with Tun Salleh, he was like a father often advising us ‘young representatives’ to carry out our duties with honesty and integrity," he said.

Mohd Abdul Wahid said despite the bitter experience having been dismissed from the Lord President post, Tun Salleh hardly complained over the matter but instead, he remained humble and was at ease mingling with the kampung folks.

“Once when I was on stage during a ceramah at Rusila, Marang, I saw him among the crowd, sitting on newspapers laid on the ground, listening intently. I informed this to Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang.

"I went down to tell him to join us on stage as requested by Abdul Hadi, but he refused politely saying that he came to listen to the talk and if on stage he would be required to give a talk,” said Mohd Abdul Wahid who had always been in touch with Tun Salleh even after he was no longer active in politics.

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