R.I.P. Toh Puan Siti Zainab Baharuddin (Kirkby 1952-53)

My dear Kirkbyites,

I’m sorry to inform that Toh Puan Siti Zainab Baharuddin from the first Kirkby batch passed away yesterday – Wednesday at 7.15 in the morning.

It is unfortunate that we were not alerted to this sad news – otherwise I could have attended the funeral with other Kirkbyites in Penang.

It was only around 8.15 pm that Poh Yuk drew my attention to the report in The Sun.

On page 11, The Sun reported: Former Penang governor’s wife dies.

Toh Puan Siti Zainab was married to Tun Dr Hamdan Sheikh Tahir who was the Yang Dipertua Negeri of Penang from 1989 t0 2001.

Toh Puan Siti was a very warm and friendly person, ever so polite and caring.

Just before the Penang Kirkby Reunion 2010, I spoke to her over the phone and tried to persuade her to attend the Reunion. She informed me that she was not all that well but she would try.

She invited Poh Yuk and me to go over to her place for tea. She gave direction to her place and alerted us to the land mark outside her house: the only house with the national flag flying in front of the house!

We had tea and biscuits and a lovely conversation. She related to us how she brought life to the Residency and made it a place of caring.

She donated RM500.00 for the Reunion and later asked whether that was enough. Of course, we told her that she was rather generous and we were very grateful to her.

She was wheel-chair bound and we made arrangements with the hotel to make her arrival comfortable.  But unfortunately, at the last moment she was unable to come.

After the Reunion, I visited her at the hospital and gave her the Souvenir Magazine. I stayed on for a while and then took leave.

She was 85 years old and leaves behind two daughters, a son and five grandchildren to mourn her loss.

May she rest in peace!