(From left) Marie, Abang Johari, Juma’ani, Fazzrudin and Uggah pay their last respects. — Photo by Roystein Emmor

KUCHING (Sept 10): Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg described the demise of the late Dato Sri Ambrose Blikau Enturan as a significant loss to Sarawak.

He described him as more than just a colleague and friend, but also a remarkable leader.

“We lost a colleague, friend and leader — the late Blikau was indeed a great leader,” he said when met by reporters after paying his last respects at the late Katibas assemblyman’s residence here on Sunday.

Abang Johari recalled the late Blikau’s unwavering commitment to Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) during challenging times, saying he managed to stay together with other Iban leaders in PBB and defended the party.

He added that he had contributed a lot to the state.

“He was our PBB secretary-general and during that time, he was also trying to get all parties in the then-Barisan Nasional coalition in one spirit and to have particularly our Chief Minister at the time, our group, our team to develop the country especially in the rural areas,” he said.

Abang Johari said that Blikau had done a lot for Katibas in Song, and that during his term as assemblyman, the district had been improved.

“During his term of service — nine terms, I think — he served Song until the last election. He felt he wasn’t that healthy, so he gave way for the young Lidam Assan as our candidate in the last election.

“Not only that, he had been running our Hornbill Skyways as well as Saberkas. He did a lot for Saberkas. I was the president of Saberkas then, and we worked very well as a team.

“So we really lost a friend, a colleague and a leader. May he rest in peace,” he said.

Among the dignitaries who paid their last respects were Abang Johari’s wife Datuk Amar Juma’ani Tuanku Bujang, Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas and Tupong assemblyman Fazzrudin Abdul Rahman.

Also present was the late Blikau’s wife, Datin Sri Marie Therese Mathias.