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Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem dies aged 72

The state has "lost an authoritative leader", says Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak. 

KUCHING: Sarawak will observe seven days of mourning for the late Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem, who died at the age of 72 on Wednesday (Jan 11).

A state funeral will be held on Thursday, which has been declared a special state holiday, Sarawak's deputy chief minister Abang Johari Abang Openg announced, according to The Star Online. Flags will be flown at half-mast and all official functions will be postponed. 

Adenan died on Wednesday afternoon at the Sarawak General Hospital's Heart Centre from cardiac failure after being admitted on Sunday, reported The Star Online.

Prime Minister Najib Razak said Sarawak had "lost an authoritative leader", adding that he would be flying to Sarawak to attend the late chief minister's funeral.

He was one of Najib's closest allies, whose popularity helped the ruling Barisan Nasional alliance secure a landslide victory in the Sarawak state elections last year.

“We have lost a great son of Sarawak who devoted his whole life to the rakyat,” Sarawak local government minister Sim Kui Hian, who was also Adenan's personal physician, told the Malay Mail Online.

Adenan came to power after his predecessor Taib Mahmud stepped down in 2014, and has been described as the best chief minister Sarawak's had. His popularity across Sarawak led to the term "Adenan fever" during state elections last year.