Lawyer-activist Haris Ibrahim passes away

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Lawyer and political activist Haris Ibrahim passed away at noon today at his brother’s home in Taman Tun Dr Ismail. He was aged 63.

Haris had moved into his brother Adam’s home soon after he was diagnosed with end-stage lung cancer.

Haris’ sister-in-law Firoza Burhan said he had passed away very peacefully.

“He took in a few breaths and faded away,” she added.

Firoza said Haris had woken up feeling very tired in the morning just a few hours before his demise.

According to Firoza, Haris had long accepted the fact that he was terminally ill and had a limited time to live.

“He took it stoically and fought courageously and underwent all the required therapies,” she added.

He was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer last April and was given six months to live.

Despite his illness, Haris returned to legal practice two months later.

His partner at Haris Ibrahim Kandiah Partnership, Ashok Kandiah described Haris as “the definition of a towering Malaysian”.

At the time, Haris said he wanted to bring the message that Malaysia was intended to be a secular nation.

In the last 10 years of his legal practice, up to 2010, Haris was involved in many cases that dealt with questions on freedom of religion and the jurisdiction of the civil and syariah courts.

Subsequently, he was credited as the founder of the Asalkan Bukan Umno movement that shaped the discourse on the need for a “third force” in Malaysian politics.

“It is important to stand up and defend the judiciary, the third pillar of democracy. That is why I am here to support my brothers and sisters,” he said.

The Court of Appeal had in 2019 acquitted Haris of a sedition charge after he called for a change of government during a public forum in Kuala Lumpur on May 13, 2013.

Haris left behind a 28-year-old son and an 18-year-old daughter.

It wass reported that his remains were brought to the At Taqwa mosque in Taman Tun Dr Ismail after asar prayers and he was laid to rest at the Bukit Kiara Muslim cemetery.