Sandakan MP Stephen Wong, 65, has died of a heart attack in Kota Kinabalu today.
Wong is a two-term MP and Sabah DAP chairperson. He was also the Health and People's Wellbeing Minister in the Sabah cabinet.
According to Bernama, his political secretary Phoong Jin Zhe said Wong left home at 5.05am today to participate in a jungle run in Putatan organised by an NGO.
He said Wong had breakfast with his driver at a coffee shop as it was still too early to gather for the run.
At about 8.30am, after participating in the run, Wong complained of being uncomfortable and a pain in the chest and rested for a while.
Phoong said that on the journey back home, he again felt uncomfortable and at 9.35am, the driver sent him to the hospital.
Wong underwent emergency treatment but died at 12.15pm. He leaves behind a wife, four children and two grandchildren.
Phoon said Wong’s remains will be placed at the Fook Lu Siew funeral parlour in Kota Kinabalu until tomorrow for the family members and friends to pay their last respects.
The remains will be sent to Sandakan on Saturday for the last respects and funeral rites.
'A great loss to Malaysians and Sabahans'
The Dewan Rakyat observed a minute of silence in a show of respect to Wong today.
All lawmakers in attendance stood in silence for a full minute before the proceedings continued.
In a statement later, DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang said Wong's passing was a great loss to Malaysians and Sabahans.
"Wong was a dedicated political worker for the wellbeing and greatness of Malaysia and Sabah, the very embodiment of the example that it is no contradiction to be one at the same time a great Malaysian and a great Sabahan," he said.
On social media, messages of condolences flowed in for Wong's family.
"Saddened to hear the passing of YB Stephen Wong... deepest condolences to Wong's family and loved ones," said Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali.
Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran said he had lost a good friend and leader.
"His service to the people will always be remembered. Life is so uncertain," he said.
"An outspoken leader (and) a good friend who will be dearly missed forever," said Perak DAP chief Nga Kor Ming.
In the last general election, Wong retained the Sandakan parliamentary seat with 19,094 votes against 8,996 votes garnered by LDP, which was at the time part of BN.
Even though he did not hold a state seat, the Sabah constitution allows for a person to be included in the Sabah cabinet through appointments.