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KUCHING, Jan 23: Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) founding member Datuk Simon Dembab Maja passed away at the age of 85 at a private medical centre here yesterday (Jan 22).
He was also the former Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister under the then Sarawak Coalition Government in 1970, according to his son Jimmy Maja.
“The government was then known as the Sarawak Coalition government, which was made up of Parti Bumiputera, Parti Pesaka and the Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP).
“It was the first direct general elected government in the State,” said Jimmy.
He said his late father contested in the first direct Sarawak State election in 1970 when he was member of Parti Pesaka, which later merged with Parti Bumiputera to form PBB in its present form today.
In 1972, Simon was posted to Sydney, Australia as the student consular at the Malaysian Consulate.
Simon’s family was from Engkilili but he was educated in Kuching Chung Hua School in the 1950s and then St Thomas’ School.
He was fluent in written and spoken Mandarin, Hakka, Hokkien and Teochew dialects.
A wake service is being held at his residence in Tabuan Jaya here until tomorrow (Jan 24).
The cortege will then leave for Engkilili where the wake will continue prior to the funeral service and burial.
Simon is survived by his wife Datin Rosalind Sitie Jemeni, three children, three grandchildren and two great grandchildren. — DayakDaily