PENANG, 20 December 2014 - The grief over the death of Tan Sri Datuk Ani Arope this morning was not only felt by his family but to the whole Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) community as well.
Ani Arope passed away at the age of 82 at the Subang Jaya Medical Centre early this morning and his body was taken to the TNB Islamic Centre in Bangsar Selangor for family members, friends and the general public to pay their last respects before the remains were once again taken to a surau nearby his home for prayers.
Ani Arope was remembered as the Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) Executive Chairman from 1992 - 1996 and a well-respected corporate leader in this country.
According to the USM Pro-Chancellor Tan Sri Datuk Mustafa Mansur, the late Ani Aropewas very committed in whatever he did, especially in helping people.
"I knew the late Ani Arope since the early eighties when he was a member of USM Council and later a member of the Board of Directors before being appointed as the Chairman of USM Board of Directors," said Mustafa when met at the funeral ceremony at the Muslim cemetery in Section 21, Shah Alam Selangor.
According to Mustafa, the late Ani Arope was a versatile leader who has contributed a lot to the nation.
"I remembered him as one who holds firmly to principles, committed and has greatly contributed in sending many of our young people to study Medical Sciences in countries other than Britain during the early days," said Mustafa.
Meanwhile, USM Vice-Chancellor Professor Dato' Dr. Omar Osman also expressed his sadness over the death of Ani Arope.
"USM is indeed indebted to Ani Arope because USM obtained the Accelerated Programme for Excellence (APEX) and Research University (RU) status while he was the Chairman of the Board of Directors," said Omar.
Omar added that all who knew the late Ani Arope will always remember his friendliness, humour, firm character and vast experiences and knowledge in various fields especially his ability in mastering various languages and other abilities including flying an airplane.
Omar together with USM Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic and International Affairs) Professor Dato' Dr. Ahmad Shukri Mustafa Kamal paid their last respects to Ani Arope, joined the funeral prayers at the Surau Seksyen 2 Shah Alam near his residence and then attended the funeral ceremony.
Tan Sri Datuk Ani Arope served as the Chairman of USM Board of Directors from 1992 to 2010 before being succeeded by Emeritus Professor Dato' Dr. Zawawi M. Ismail.
Zawawi, who was in London, sent a short message (sms) describing the passing of Ani Arope as a great loss of a highly-admired national leader who was firm and with integrity.
The Chairman of the Board of Governors of Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka and also the member of USM Senate Professor Dato' Seri Md. Salleh Yaapar described the passing of Ani Arope - a man of principle - as a great loss to the nation.
Another member of the USM Senate Professor Dr. Nazalan Najimuddin posted on his Facebook account said, "Early this morning, I received the news on the death of Tan Sri Ani Arope with a heart full of sadness and the late Ani Arope will always be remembered for his friendliness and humour, a man of principle and a true Malaysian."
Meanwhile, the Director of USM Transformation Centre Dato' Haji Ellias Haji Zakaria said that we should take comfort in reflecting on the overwhelming impact Ani Arope’s life has had on us all.
"It's hard to find a man like him, and there are so many things that can be learnt from this great man," said Ellias in his short message.
H.R.H. Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Ibni Almarhum Tuanku Syed Putra Jamalullail, the Raja of Perlis who is also the USM Chancellor, paid his last respects to Ani Arope at the TNB Islamic Centre in Bangsar around 12.00 noon today.
The late Tan Sri Ani Arope was born on 17 May 1932 in Sungai Bakap, Seberang Prai, Penang. Ani is survived by his wife Puan Sri Saenah Ahmad and three children. - Translation: Tan Ewe Hoe/Text & Photo: Mohamad bin Abdullah