It is with utter sadness and much condolence to the family of the late Bro Ahmad Salim Abdul Razi (C’75), Ahmad House or fondly known as Salim or Asraz who returned to rahmatullah on 8.40 p.m. on 15 January 2021 due to cancer at University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC). Arwah was undergoing chemo treatment following his cancer operation a couple of months ago. He felt chest pain and had difficulty breathing, collapsed and was rushed to UMMC where his heart stopped responding.
He has been a member of the MCOBA Management Committee for several terms (2003-2004, 2010- 2012 & 2016-2018). He was also the Chairman of the Golf Committee. He is also the General Manager of Shah Alam Club who often serves the MCOBs at the club for discussions, meetings and full-dress rehearsal trainings for the MCOBA Annual Dinner.
He was once the Vice Chairman of the Parents Teachers Association of MCKK. Arwah Salim was the father of Ahmad Syahrir Hatta (C’03) & Allahyarham Ahmad Syahrizal Haqim (C’09), who died of cancer in April 2019. He was also once a President of the Alumni of Methodist Secondary School Parit Buntar (MEXSA).
He hailed from Parit Buntar, Perak of Banjarese descent, a son of a padi farmer. He went to the Methodist Secondary School Parit Buntar in 1970 before entering MCKK in 1974.
He did his A- levels at Oldham, Greater Manchester before proceeding to neighbouring Salford to do Chemical Engineering at the University of Salford. Whilst at the University, he was elected as the President of the Malaysia Student Association in 1979. He started the first Kelab UMNO Salford & Manchester Area (KUSMA) in 1980 with him as the first Chairman. The legacy of KUSMA remained for 37 years until 2018 when it was disbanded.
Whilst at the same university, I remember him as a good university badminton player and I always listen ardently to his all his football stories after coming back from neighbouring Old Trafford after watching the home matches of his favourite football team, Manchester United.
Upon graduation with a BSc (Hons) in Chemical Engineering in 1981, he joined ESSO and was with the oil company until 2004. He went on to be the General Manager of Kelab Alam Shah, a recreational and social club in Shah Alam, Selangor. He also dabbled in politics in his early days of his career by getting involved with the UMNO Youth, Parit Buntar division.
His death was announced on the University of Salford Alumni WAG at 8.43pm, followed by many recurring announcements and condolences in the MCOBs related WAG and Telegram groups.
Many kind and wonderful tributes was written about the late chemical engineer, Club General Manager, my school mate, my university mate, my housemate, my friend and brother.
There was much outpouring of memories; about his professionalism, his organisation skills, his sense of humour, his dedication to his games of choice and his loyalty to friends.
I perused every tribute and message through the eyes were too tired to sleep. The all-inclusive list of adjectives and superlatives left me inclining towards plagiarism should I repeat some of them.
Reading through the messages, I now realised it was actually an organised, carefully thought-out chronology of his life as a person, and certainly of our friendship.
Remembering a life well lived with my friend, my school and university senior, father, grandfather and life-long brother. Arwah Ahmad Salim Al- Razi always used to say, “The world is your oyster…” At times, we feel that the world under a pandemic lockdown and a Proclamation of Emergency for our friend and brother had left us too soon.
For those of us who had the privilege of knowing Ahmad Salim Al-Razi, the last few weeks have been trying times in light of recent events of pandemic proportions that have transpired. While it is with a certain sorrow that we mourn his demise, we know, with absolute certainty that he would want us to remember the good times, the great times and also the wonderful memories and legacy that he has left with us all.
Some among us had the privilege of calling him a valued colleague and trusty acquaintance. Many more among us knew him personally and were honoured to call him a dear friend, comrade and brother. He was also a loving father, a wonderful grandfather and a workaholic person. It is hard to truly encapsulate all of who Salim was.
He was many things to many people but in his own special way, he unselfishly brought light, wisdom, hope and love into all the lives and hearts he touched and the paths that he crossed.
He wasn’t afraid to be in the trenches and golf courses and to spend as much time as needed with everyone who needed his help, guidance or insight and even secure a place to have meetings, discussions or just eat.
He never was diffident about speaking his mind, but he did so with a profound and honest heart. His candid honesty got him in trouble sometimes but earned respect from his peers for fighting for what is right and good and what we all believed in as comradeship and camaraderie.
He was an excellent strategist, a good golfer and badminton player and such a dynamite for such a short height fellow. From what I can recalled from our schooldays, he also played sepak takraw and squash for school. Though pint-sized, he made it up by being a very perceptive, smart and observant gentleman who disguised it all under layers of good humour and good sportsmanship.
The MCOB ecosystem has indeed lost a great man. Those who knew Salim as a friend knew him as someone that they could count on when the chips were down. Being from a poor family background, Salim used to remark that going to MCKK was one of the best things that happened to him and repaid it many times over by his ever-ready contributions in time effort and money to whatever event or project his alma mater was involved in.
He possessed a accomplished mind and to everyone who had the privilege of being counted as a friend, Salim was a byword for both honesty, integrity and charity, who conducted himself with both humility and a dignified nobility that earned the respect of everyone he met.
At times, we often wondered how Salim managed to find the time to lead a Recreation and Social Club.
I recall arwah Salim used to promote MCOBs’ restaurants under his programme of ‘Jalan2 Cari Makan’ when he was in MCOBA committee sometimes ago. It helped many MCOBs in the F&B business.
But what we miss the most is his wonderful sense of humour, his jovialness and his hearty chuckle that could brighten up any room and make a glum gaggle of friends or golfers roar with laughter and smile with tears of mirth in their eyes.
Salim’s passing is felt the keenest by those he knew as family. He was a pillar of strength who loved unconditionally, giving as much of himself to those he loved as he did to the second passion of his life, his Alma Mater and his Kelab Shah Alam.
Salim had his blood family, but we honestly believe his devoted family were truly his close friends which he makes the effort to meet up regularly at his Club. He was very particular with meeting up occasionally to catch up and imbued in precious time in listening, assisting and sharing the joys and sadness of his and theirs.
The session would last hours and sometimes to the wee hours of the morning when the Club closed shop. It seems these sessions were crucial fuel to his life. His undivided attention and sincere heed in our lives mattered to him dearly. Truly he was family; a father, an uncle and a brother to many.
Salim was never without kindness and sincerity. He’s all that and much more. Visionary, organiser, leader, hero, friend, golf ‘buaya’, brother, father, grandfather. He was all this and more.
Let’s always share your memories, anecdotes and stories of Salim with all you know. In this way, we will keep Salim’s life, his memories and his work alive.
We’ll miss you Salim. The universe conspires for us to find you in our dreams and prayers.
Sleep well, my friend.
O Allah, forgive my brother Salim and have mercy on him, keep him safe and sound and forgive him, honour the place where he settles and make his entrance wide; wash him with water and snow and hail, and cleanse him of sin as a white garment is cleansed of dirt.
May Allah SWT forgive his transgressions and place him with all the righteous believers and the pious in Hereafter. Aamin Y.R.A.