Former Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Mokhtar Hashim, who died early today, was buried at the Bukit Kiara Muslim Cemetery at about 12.30 pm.
The burial ceremony, conducted by observing the prescribed standard operating procedures (SOP), was only attended by family members and close friends.
Mokhtar’s remains were earlier taken to Masjid At-Taqwa, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, for the funeral rites and prayer, which was led by his son, Shazril Imri.
Among VIPs present to pay their last respects were former Information Minister Tan Sri Khalid Yunus; former Negeri Sembilan Menteri Besar Tan Sri Mohd Isa Samad; UMNO deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan and former Dewan Negara president Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang.
Mokhtar died at the aged of 78 at Ampang Hospital at about 3 am today due to brain haemorrhage. He was admitted to the hospital yesterday following a stroke.
He left a wife, Datin Bahariah Yusof. The couple has two sons and a daughter, who is now deceased.
Mokhtar joined UMNO in 1967 and was elected Rembau-Tampin Member of Parliament through a by-election in 1972 and subsequently won the Tampin parliamentary seat in the 1974 and 1978 general elections.
He was Parliamentary Secretary to the Culture, Youth and Sports Ministry from 1972 to 1974, Deputy Agriculture and Rural Development Minister (1974-1976), Deputy Agriculture Minister (1976), Deputy Foreign Minister (1977) and Culture, Youth and Sports Minister (1981-1983).
The former Umno politician was culture, youth and sports minister in Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s first Cabinet.
Mokhtar was convicted of the April 14, 1982 murder of Datuk Mohamad Taha Talib, the then-speaker of Negri Sembilan legislative assembly.
The murder trial that lasted 76 days was widely reported in newspapers back then and caused a sensation due to allegations of the use of “black magic” to weaken Taha before his death.
Taha’s murder was said to be linked to an internal power struggle in Umno back then, as he and Mokhtar were supposedly competing for the same post.
Three months after Taha’s death, Mokhtar was replaced by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in his ministerial post.
Mokhtar was sentenced to death on March 6, 1983, by the High Court, which was later commuted to life imprisonment and finally released from prison on July 10, 1991, following a royal pardon by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.