CM visits banished forefather’s grave during Melaka visit

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KUCHING: Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg, took some time off to attend an important family reunion during his two day official visit to Melaka – the gathering of the descendants of banished political activist Datuk Patinggi Abang Abdul Ghafor Abang Qahar.

Abang Johari is the fifth generation of Abdul Ghafor’s descendants.

Abdul Ghafor, who died of old age, was sent into exile to Melaka by Sarawak’s first White Rajah Sir James Brooke for formenting agitation against his rule in the mid 1800s.

Brooke ruled from 1842 to 1868.

Abdul Ghafor descendants came from all over the country, though the majority are from Melaka and Pahang, for the family gathering and get to know their kin who is now the chief minister of Sarawak.

Shortly after arrival yesterday afternoon, Abang Johari accompanied by his wife Datin Amar Juma’ani Tuanku Bujang and scores of the extended family members, visited Abdul Ghafor’s grave at the Tok Gambon Muslim cemetery at Kampung Limbongan.

At the clan dinner last night, the chief minister said as descendants of Abdul Ghafor, they should draw inspiration from the struggle of their freedom fighter forefather and others like him during the Brooke and colonial eras to work towards the development of their respective states.

The chief minister said what was important now was that the struggle of the leaders of the past should drive present leaders to continue with the effort to look after interest and well-being of the people.

“The struggle is not only for us (descendants of Abdul Ghafor) but for all the people at large who need a good and fair leadership that is able to secure a bright future for Sarawak,” Abang Johari said.

Also present at the dinner were members of his ministerial entourage – Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports, Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri and their spouses.

This morning, the chief minister paid a courtesy call on his Malacca counterpart Datuk Seri Idris Haron at his office in Ayer Keroh.

The chief minister and his entourage were then given a development briefing by the the Menteri Besar.

They later visited the Malacca History Museum. –