A few months ago, YB Gobind Singh Deo (Member of Parliament for Puchong) and I had a conversation about town hall meetings and co-operation with the police. Naturally, we touched on the issue of application for police permits for such meetings and the person in charge of considering such applications – the late OCPD Tuan Zainal Rashid. When his name was mentioned, YB Gobind’s description of him stayed in my head until today: “A good man”.
A good man. That’s him. Our Tuan Zainal. Ever since I was elected the State Assemblyman of Subang Jaya, I have attended 3 funerals for police officers at USJ 8 Balai. His is my third. When I received news of his sudden death from MPSJ councillor Rajiv Rishyakaran, I was stunned. I could not believe the sms I saw. I wanted to just delete it and pretend that I never saw it.
Just a few days before his death, I hosted a thanksgiving dinner for rescue workers of the explosion at Empire, namely the policemen and the firemen. Tuan Zainal sat next to me at the dinner table and we had an interesting conversation. He gave me slimming tips when we started chatting about the weight I put on during pregnancy. We talked about my caesarean surgery. He spoke about the importance of “urut” to get back into shape. I wanted to stay back a little longer to chat with him and now regret for failure to obey that tugging at my heart. I didn’t know that that would be the last time I saw him.
The last time I saw him - photo courtesy of SJ Echo
In the course of performing my duties as the State Assemblyman of Subang Jaya, I have met many police officers but Tuan Zainal stood out like a star. He was always down to earth and made me feel very comfortable around him. Always patient to explain procedures to me (he did the same at the Empire explosion site at 5am!). He had invited me to his house before for Hari Raya gathering and had the pleasure of meeting his wife. Sadly, I missed the chance to buka puasa with him at the new surau in IPD Subang Jaya this year.
Our karaoke session together
I will never forget meeting him at the first function organised by USJ RA in 3K. I was called out to sing a P. Ramlee duet with Tuan Zainal. I was nervous, firstly I’m a lousy singer and secondly, having to belt out a P. Ramlee song gave me double anxiety. Again, Tuan Zainal did what he knew best – making people around him feel comfortable and I did not just survive the song, I actually enjoyed it!
My colleagues in politics have often complained about the difficulty of securing police permits for their events. I did not share the same fate, simply because Tuan Zainal was a fair man. I count meeting him, knowing him and having fellowshipped with him as one of the great joys of serving as the ADUN of Subang Jaya.
He will be greatly missed! - photo courtesy of SJ Echo
Some days I still go to his Facebook page and see his photos. His sudden passing is a great loss to the community of Subang Jaya. I know he will be greatly missed by his family and those who love him. A tribute article like this cannot do justice to the nice man that he was. But this is the least I can do, to let Subang Jaya residents know what a fine man we had in our late OCPD. A good man indeed.