KUALA LUMPUR, April 23 (Bernama) -- Tun Abdul Ghafar Baba was laid to rest at the National Mausoleum, in the National Mosque compound here Sunday afternoon as a statesman who had contributed immensely to the nation.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak were among those who joined family members and thousands of Malaysians for the state funeral.
The burial, which began after the 'Asar' prayers, ended at 5.45 pm with with the final rites read by National Mosque Imam Besar Datuk Kamaruddin Zakaria.
The Prime Minister then poured scented water and sprinkled flower petals on the former deputy prime minister's grave, followed by Najib and Abdul Ghafar's family members led by his second son Tamrin.
Abdul Ghafar was buried alongside the second and third prime ministers Tun Abdul Razak Hussein and Hussein Onn respectively, as well as Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman, who was the second deputy prime minister.
Earlier, the casket was brought from Abdul Ghafar's residence at Bukit Pantai to the National Mosque at 2.10 pm for the funeral rites. Abdullah was on hand to receive the casket.
The casket, draped in the Jalur Gemilang and borne by 10 members of the police and armed forces, was placed in the centre of the main lecture hall of the National Mosque for the lying-in-state.
Besides cabinet ministers, political and community leaders, more than 5,000 members of the public from various strata of society had paid their last respect to the former deputy prime minister.
Abdullah described Abdul Ghafar's death as a major loss to the country as he was a leader who was always committed to serve the people regardless of race, religion or social status.
Abdul Ghafar had received treatment at the Gleneagles Intan Medical Centre for 90 days since Jan 24 following an asthma attack. He had previously been treated at the Pantai Medical Centre for a heart ailment and lung complication.
Ghafar, 81, who died this morning, held the position of Deputy Prime Minister from May 7 1986 to Oct 15 1993.