"The tale of the king who triumphed over the world with the power of 'love' finds its poignant end. He touched the lives of countless individuals, and his legacy will forever resonate within our souls." Kerala Congress President K Sudhakaran posted this moving tribute on the passing away of former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.
The former Kerala Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Oommen Chandy passed away at Chinmaya Hospital in Bengaluru at 4.25am on Tuesday. He was aged 79 and had been undergoing treatment for cancer.
K Sudhakaran's tribute is a reflection of the kind of man Oommen Chandy was and the effect he had over the people of Kerala. UAE residents resonated the same sentiments and expressed their deepest condolences on losing a 'people's leader'.
‘A real statesman’
Entrepreneurs, business leaders and prominent individuals in the UAE also shared their fond memories of the beloved CM. Dr Thumbay Moideen, founder and president of Thumbay Group, said of the former chief minister of Kerala: "His contributions to Kerala's advancement and development will always be remembered as a political stalwart. He was a real statesman who left behind a legacy that will motivate future generations. We sincerely sympathise with his family and loved ones during this trying time. May his soul rest in peace."
Dr Shamsheer Vayalil, founder and chairman of Burjeel Holdings, fondly remembered the late politician's contributions to the expat community. "His contributions to the expat community were truly remarkable, and he left a legacy of selfless service behind," he said.
Dr Vayalil added: "I fondly remember the many opportunities when I witnessed his exceptional responsiveness to the issues of Keralites around the globe. Even during his visits to countries, including the UAE, he was always surrounded by people. He was always a phone call away to hear and address the NRI community's concerns. We will always remember him for creating a new model of public service and exemplifying the essence of empathy and accessibility in his long career as a champion of the people."
‘A true people's leader’
Dr Azad Moopen, founder chairman and managing director of Aster DM Healthcare, said Chandy was one of the most respected politicians in Kerala, a true people's leader who drew strength from being amongst them.
"His statesmanship greatly benefited the state during his tenure as a member of the legislative assembly (MLA) for over 50 years, holding office for two terms successfully. As the Chief Minister of Kerala, he had a phenomenal impact on rolling out many welfare programs and attracting investments to the state. I have had the privilege of knowing him for the last three decades," added Dr Moopen.
"His compassion, dedication, and progressive governance will always be remembered and continue to inspire future generations. May his family find the strength to bear this irreplaceable loss, and may his soul rest in eternal peace," Dr Moopen continued.
For Dubai businessman Mohamed Rafi, CEO of Flora Group of Companies, Chandy was a figure he looked up to. “He was closely connected with the Flora family, and I admired him for the passion he had for his people,” he said.
Rafi said: “We as a group think beyond politics, and he was also the same. For him, the welfare of people in Kerala came above everything else. If someone went to him with a problem, he would follow up with the concerned parties and make sure it was resolved. I think his death is a great loss for Kerala politics and its people.”
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