Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, who passed away on Sunday at the age of 75, is perhaps best remembered as one of three key figures in leading Malaysia’s greatest “heist” on the London Stock Exchange (LSE).
The former corporate figure-turned-menteri besar, together with former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Tun Ismail Ali (a former governor of Bank Negara Malaysia), led the “Dawn Raid” on the LSE that resulted in Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) taking control of plantation group Guthrie in less than two hours.
Guthrie at the time was the biggest and oldest British-owned plantation company with lots of land in Malaysia.
Shakila Yacob, in her column in the New Straits Times in February 2020, wrote that the Guthrie “Dawn Raid” by PNB on September 7, 1981 was a fine-tuned and balanced initiative.
PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said Khalid’s contributions were invaluable, especially his efforts to drive Bumiputera economic development activities.
Anwar said Khalid, an old acquaintance from his university days, was the champion of plantation company Guthrie.
“Although there were differences of opinion in politics, which is normal, we were still like family,” a Bernama report quoted him as saying after paying his last respects to the deceased at the Saidina Umar Al Khattab Mosque in Bukit Damansara here yesterday.
Recalling their past memories, Anwar said the most memorable was when they succeeded in a project in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance some time ago to help the hardcore poor.
“It was Khalid’s idea to give each family RM5,000 as their savings and the project was launched in Baling,” he added.
Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas) chief executive officer Tricia Yeoh, in a lengthy Facebook post, recalled of her appointment within the former Selangor menteri besar’s office.
Yeoh said she worked under Khalid from January 2009 to March/April 2011 and was primarily involved in the economic stimulus packages he mooted.
“Tan Sri Khalid was stubborn, sometimes confusing and strict. He hated it if you presented something to him that was half-baked or that made no mathematical sense. But Tan Sri was humble, hard-working, and thought ultimately about always doing the right thing. He never put himself first. He worked day and night, weekdays and weekends.
“He constantly tried to configure a solution of making the state’s money work for and on behalf of the Selangorians. That’s why he came up with the slogan of ‘Merakyatkan Ekonomi Selangor’ with all its accompanying packages.
“My heart breaks for the man who was my boss for more than two years, the bold, confident and obstinate man who succumbed to illness too early. So much of the rest of my life has been directed and oriented by those wonderfully eventful, traumatic, brilliant, high-low years of the first term of the Pakatan Rakyat in Selangor.
Tan Sri, above all, thank you for the kindness and fairness that you consistently demonstrated,” said Yeoh.
Khalid, 76, breathed his last at 11.08pm on Sunday at Cardiac Vascular Sentral Kuala Lumpur.
A post on his Facebook page announced that Khalid had been warded since April 23 due to an infection of a heart valve.
He served as a member of parliament for Bandar Tun Razak from 2008 to 2018, and as Selangor Menteri Besar from 2008 to 2014. – NST ONLINE