Former Port Klang assemblyperson Zakaria Md Deros died early today after suffering a heart attack.
He was pronounced dead by a doctor at 2.30am. He was 62.
Zakaria gained infamy in 2006 when he had a run-in with the law for not submitting building plans for his mansion, dubbed as a istana (palace) by his detractors.
A former Klang municipal councillor, Zakaria was found not to have paid the assessment for another property for 12 years, while his family was caught operating an illegal satay restaurant on government reserve land.
He was dropped from the BN line-up for the just-ended general election, replaced by his daughter-in-law Roselinda Abdul Jamil. She however failed to retain the seat.
His mansion has 21 bathrooms and 16 bedrooms, including 11 that occupied by each of his children, as well as a VIP room, three living rooms, a dining hall and a prayer room.
The house also has a swimming pool, several gazebos, an orchard, a two-hole golf lawn, an office, a storeroom, two rooms for maids as well as a wet kitchen and a dry kitchen.
Complaints of breathing difficulties
According to Bernama, quoting Zakaria’s daughter Liza, the politician returned home at about 1am from Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) where he had followed developments of the Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) supreme council meetings with his friends.
“My father was his usual self talking to us after returning from PWTC when he suddenly experienced breathing difficulties. He did not complain of any discomfort earlier,” she told Bernama.
She said that a doctor was immediately summoned to the house and he confirmed that her father had died.
Zakaria’s body was taken to the Kuala Sungai Baru muslim cemetery in Malacca at about 12 noon.
About 5,000 visitors paid their last respects to Zakaria since early morning today. Former Selangor Menteri Besar Dr Mohd Khir Toyo is learnt to have paid his condolence at about 3am. Several former Selangor state assemblypersons and Umno division leaders also were present.
Both Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his deputy Najib Abdul Razak also paid their last respects this morning. Abdullah was accompanied by his wife Jeanne.