Johor’s former Chief Minister Osman Sapian had passed away at his son’s house in Damansara, Kuala Lumpur, due to low blood pressure. He was 69 years old.
He was laid to rest at his hometown in Mount Austin, Johor, at about 3.20pm on Dec. 22.
Malay Mail reported that Osman was recovering from a stroke after undergoing a surgery in October.
He was appointed as 16th Chief Minister of Johor after Pakatan Harapan won the 14th General Election in May 2018.
Osman held office for 11 months — the shortest stint as a chief minister in Johor’s history.
Condolences pouring in
Several former politicians and his fellow party members expressed their condolences on his passing.
Former Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin wrote on his Facebook that Osman was a “strong and tough person, and someone who never admitted defeat”.
He added that Osman’s passing was a “great loss” to Johor and his political party, Bersatu.
Former Malaysia’s Minister for Defence Mohamad Sabu also said on his Facebook that even though he had known Osman for a short period of time, Osman was a “leader who had an impact on the nation’s political history”.
Malay Mail described Osman as a “colourful and at times controversial” politician.
During his stint as Johor’s chief minister, there were a couple of memorable incidents and comments he made in relation to Singapore.
On Jan. 12, 2019, Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Osman Sapian had intruded Singapore’s territorial waters off Tuas on Jan. 9, 2019.
As a such, Singapore proposed to postpone the 14th Joint Ministerial Committee for Iskandar Malaysia, and Malaysia agreed.
The former chief minister went aboard the buoy-laying vessel MV Pedoman in Singapore’s waters.
The federal government had reportedly not approved of his “visit”. A few months later on Mar. 1 in the same year, Osman made the shocking announcement that Johor no longer intended to rely on Singapore for treated water. However, he said that the plan had not been finalised.
He made the remarks after attending a special session with former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and his Cabinet at Putrajaya.
“But this is still in the planning stage, and I can not share the details at this point, until this plan can be implemented in the near future,” Osman said.
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