One of SDP’s stalwarts, Mr Mohd Isa bin Abdul Aziz has passed away. Isa, a member of the party’s Central Executive Committee (CEC), died last night of renal failure after suffering a stroke in November 2013. He was 56.$CUT$
Isa, as he is known to members, joined the SDP in the late 1980s and has always played a leadership role in the party. He stood as an SDP candidate in past elections, the latest in Sembawang GRC in the 2011 GE.
Isa was a staunch believer in the party’s cause, steadfastly championing the rights of his fellow Singaporeans. He never wavered in his fight for a democratic Singapore and worked tirelessly towards this ideal.
Even when he was struck with illness, Isa still came for walkabouts and house visits with the party. He would take a break at the void-decks when he was tired after climbing the floors and knocking on doors, but would resume his task when he recovered. He never complained or asked for anything in return.
He was detained without trial under the Internal Security Act in the 1980s which only made him even more determined to seek justice and democracy for Singapore. He liked to joke that his name, Isa which bore the initials of the notorious secret police, struck terror into the hearts of Singaporeans.
Isa had encountered Dr Chee Soon Juan when they were boys in the 1960s, playing football at the MacPherson housing estate at Circuit Road (and ended up quarreling). They did not meet again until 1992 when Dr Chee joined the SDP.
Through the years, the two had become close colleagues. Isa said on several occasions that his biggest wish was to see Dr Chee get into Parliament. “Once you are in Parliament I can retire,” he told Dr Chee.
Isa’s latest contribution to our nation was the SDP’s Malay policy paper A Singapore for All Singaporeans: Addressing the Concerns of the Malay Community where he provided direction and inspiration.
He leaves behind his wife, Madam Norjan, daughters, Naajia and Daanaa, and son, Altaf. His daughters recalled how he would talk to them about politics in Singapore when they were young and impressed upon them the need to stand up for what is right.
Isa was a democrat and a Democrat. The SDP has lost a true leader, Singapore has lost a loyal citizen.
The SDP sends our deepest condolences to Isa’s family. He will be missed by all of us but his memory will spur us on. Rest well, good friend.