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21.10.2005 General News

Kufuor consoles Malaysian Prime Minister

By GNA
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Accra, Oct. 21, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor has sent a message of condolence to the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Mr Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on the death of his wife, Endon Mahmood.

A statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the message, which was sent on Thursday, expressed on behalf of the government and people of Ghana "the deepest and heartfelt condolences for the great loss to the Malaysian Prime Minister and the entire nation of Malaysia."

Malaysia is mourning the death of Endon Mahmood, the popular wife of Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, from breast cancer. Her funeral, held soon after her death on Wednesday, was nationally televised.

Parliament adjourned and local television and radio stations broadcast prayers and sombre music as a mark of respect for Endon Mahmood, who was 64.

The Prime Minister and his wife had been married for 40 years, and had what was seen as a model partnership.

Mr Abdullah was reported to be at times tearful but calm as he received mourners, including high-level representatives from Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines.

When asked by reporters if he was coping well, Mr Abdullah smiled weakly and said: "We'll see," the Associated Press reported. Endon Mahmood was respected by the Malaysian public for her gentle unassuming personality, and was popularly referred to as "Kak Endon," or "Elder Sister Endon."

She told The Star newspaper in 2003: "I must be supportive and understanding of [my husband's] duties.

"I always compliment him. He will always phone when he is away, and we always tell each other we love each other."

Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar said he thought the Prime Minister was bearing up well under the strain. "She was such a loving wife to Abdullah, she brought so much joy for him, we will all miss her greatly," he said.

"Abdullah is a tower of strength for the Cabinet. Despite this difficult moment, he is very composed and very calm. It is amazing how he is holding himself, since Endon was very dear to him."

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