CM hails Raphael as ‘a man of determination’

Posted on : 27 Nov 2019  Source of News: The Borneo Post

Abang Johari (second left) pays his last respects to the late Raphael Scott Ahbeng at the funeral parlour of St Joseph’s Cathedral in Kuching. On second right is Manyin.

KUCHING: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg regards the passing of renowned Sarawakian artist, Raphael Scott Ahbeng, as ‘a huge loss for Sarawak’.

For Abang Johari, the painter was also a ‘really dear friend’.

“As you know, he was good in abstract arts – I think that it (his passing) is a loss to us, but I’m sure he had left a good legacy to the younger generation, especially regarding the preservation of environment, culture and the way we live,” he told reporters after paying his last respects to the late Raphael at the St Joseph’s Cathedral here yesterday.

Abang Johari also hailed Raphael as ‘a man of determination’.

“He was able to really translate nature into a real picture of what he felt. He was also a man of determination who could translate society in the form of art.

“In most of the pictures that he translated into his arts, you could see all these elements being exposed such as the rainforests, conservation or heritage,” he said.

Abang Johari also expressed optimism that some of the late Raphael’s artworks could be exhibited in the new Sarawak Museum, as well as at the old State Legislative Assembly (DUN) building.

“Inside the gallery (of the new Sarawak Museum), we have certain zones to do that, and at the same time, as you know we are turning the old DUN building into a performing arts centre and gallery. Perhaps some of his (Raphael’s) works could be exhibited there.”

Abang Johari was accompanied by Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Dato Sri Michael Manyin, Deputy State Secretary Datu Ik Pahon Joyik and Sarawak Science Research advisor Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu at the cathedral.

Raphael, whose abstract paintings had been sold globally, passed away last Sunday at his village house in Bitikie Heights, Tanjung Poting Singai in Bau.

He was 80.

Raphael studied at St Stephen’s Bau Primary School and Tanjong Lobang College Miri (now known  as Kolej Tun Datu Tuanku Haji Bujang).

He wore many hats throughout his life, including being an advisor to Sarawak’s Artists Society from 1999 to 2000, as well as a broadcaster for Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) and a newspaper columnist.

He studied arts in England at the age of 16, and had competed in the international art arena with other artists at the art auction house, Christie’s International Singapore Pte Ltd.

Raphael is survived by his wife Anastasia Mised, aged 78, their four children, 11 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.