KUALA LUMPUR (July 23): Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub will be best remembered as a champion of the people on the issue of the rising cost of living by introducing various initiatives known as ‘Payung Rahmah’.
The Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Minister died at the Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital in Alor Setar at 9.23pm today after undergoing surgery for a brain haemorrhage. He was 61.
Salahuddin leaves behind wife, Datin Seri Fatimah Taha and six children.
Born on Dec 1, 1961, Salahuddin received his early education at Serkat English Primary School, Pontian from 1967 to 1973, before continuing at junior secondary level at Teluk Kerang English Secondary School, also in Pontian (1974-1976).
Born in Tanjung Piai, Pontian, Johor, he then continued his upper secondary education at Sekolah Menengah Sri Perhentian, Pontian, and completed his fifth and sixth form at Sekolah Menengah Datuk Penggawa Barat in Pontian.
He went on to do a Business Administration Diploma programme at Tunku Abdul Rahman College (1982-1983) and pursued a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development at Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) in 1984.
Salahuddin was no stranger to national politics and succeeded in making a name for himself until he was appointed Deputy President of Parti Amanah Party (Amanah).
He was also Pontian branch Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia (Abim) secretary from 1981 to 1983, before being actively involved in politics after joining PAS in 1983.
In PAS, he rose up the ranks, beginning with being the Pontian PAS vice-chairman (1983-1987) and climbing the ranks to become vice-president from 2009-2015.
In the 2004 general election, PAS nominated him to contest the Kubang Kerian parliamentary constituency, which he won and served for two terms.
However, Salahuddin exited PAS and joined Amanah on Aug 31, 2015 after an internal conflict between PAS members at the time.
The Amanah deputy president then won the Pulai parliamentary seat and the Simpang Jeram state seat in the 14th general election in 2018 on a Pakatan Harapan (PH) ticket. He was appointed Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister before the PH government collapsed in February 2020.
The Johor PH chairman defended the seats in the Johor state election in March, 2022 and the 15th General Election on Nov 19 last year before being appointed Minister of Domestic Trade and Cost of Living.
During his tenure, Salahuddin implemented various initiatives under the Payung Rahmah brand in helping people face various challenges related to the rising cost of living, especially when the country and the economy were recovering from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Salahuddin was a minister always seen on the ground to ensure a sufficient supply of goods and his tireless efforts succeeded in stabilising the prices of basic goods while also reducing the effects of inflation on consumers. — Bernama