Two-time Mr Asia and one of Sarawak’s best known bodybuilders, Bujang Taha, died last night at the Sarawak general hospital, reportedly due to complications brought about by mouth cancer and infection to his lungs.
His body was brought back to his house in Kampung Tanjong, Petra Jaya, prior to burial this morning.
Bujang was admitted to hospital last week for asthma.
“The family accepts his passing,” Suzana said.
Bujang, however, died without fulfilling his wish to see his long-time friend, Datuk Malek Noor.
Malek was delayed as he reportedly could only fly to Kuching today.
It was supposed to have been a reunion of sorts for the two decorated bodybuilders whom Bernama had described “were like brothers”.
News of Bujang’s illness and admission into hospital went viral in the social media.
It was through postings in Facebook that Malek, the six-time Mr Asia in the heavyweight category, got to know that Bujang was ill.
Bujang first represented Sarawak in the Mr Malaysia competition in 1975 where he won in the Master category.
That same year, he was picked for the last South East Asian Peninsula (SEAP) Games in Bangkok where he won gold.
In the renamed South East Asian (SEA) Games four years later, Bujang won silver and in the next two years, he was unbeatable as Mr Asia in the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) Asian Amateur Championships.
Bujang, however, failed to make it a hat-trick of wins when he only finished a runner-up in the 1982 competition.
In the waning days of his international career, he won the silver medal at the 1983 Asian Games and bronze in the 1987 SEA Games in Jakarta before capping it with a silver two years later in the same Games which was held in Kuala Lumpur.
Three years ago, Bujang lost almost all his medals, trophies and sporting memorabilia he had collected over the years when a fire razed his home.