"He has been saying for the last few days that he wanted to leave. He used to say- 'My work is over, this time I want to leave. You can see the rest'. He had decided to leave last week. Eventually he left."
These were the words Former finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith's brother said while paying respect to the departed Muhith at the Union Shaheed Minar on Saturday afternoon. Reminiscing about their last few moments together, Muhith's brother Foreign Minister AK Momen said that the former finance minister had handled his responsibility for a decade, but was ready to call an end to his service.
Muhith's coffin was taken to the Central Shaheed Minar after the janaza at Azad Mosque in Gulshan on Saturday morning. Another Janaza was held at Dhaka University.
Finally, Muhith's body was taken to Sylhet, where people from all walks of life paid their last respects. He will be buried in his family cemetery.
In the meantime, rich tributes poured in for the political veteran.
Central Awami League leaders, led by General Secretary Obaidul Quader, paid homage to the late member of the party's advisory council. Highlighting Muhith's creditable role, Obaidul Quader said, "He was successful both as an economist and as a finance minister. The biggest thing is that there are not many honest people in the politics of this country. He was an honest man."
Awami League presidium member Matia Chowdhury, Muhith's colleague in the cabinet, said, "Abul Maal Abdul Muhith was an enlightened man not only in Bangladesh but in the world. He had a sense of responsibility and human qualities. How many of us are as successful as him?"
Zafrullah Chowdhury, the public health activist, said, "Abul Maal Abdul Muhith is one of those who brought independence to the country. He was in Washington during the liberation war and played a role with the expatriates. Without the efforts of the expatriates, Bangabandhu's liberation movement would not have been possible."
Former Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid said, "Muhith has contributed directly and indirectly to the country's economy in many ways. If we can hold on to the work he did, it will be for the good of the country."
Praising Muhith's honesty, cultural personality Asaduzzaman Noor said, "He was a good man from head to toe. He incorporated economics and culture well. He has shown that he could implement what he thought."
Workers Party President Rashed Khan Menon said, "Muhith was a very simple, always smiling man. I call him a bureaucrat, I call him a politician, and I call him a minister. He is a rare person. "
Highlighting the many aspects of the former finance minister, Hasanul Haque Inu, president of JSD, said, "Muhith Bhai was a believer in the spirit of liberation war. We lost a talented man from the intellectual world, we lost a patron of the cultural world, we lost a realistic economist from the economic world. "
Information Minister Hasan Mahmud said, "Bangladesh has risen from a low-income country to a middle-income country today. Despite all adversities, Bangladesh is moving towards prosperity today. In this regard, he (Muhith) has helped Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in every possible way.
Major General SM Salauddin Islam, Military Secretary to the President and Brigadier General Kabir Ahmed, Military Secretary to the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, also paid their respects at the Central Shaheed Minar.
Sergeant at Arms Commodore Mia Mohammad Naeem Rahman paid tribute on behalf of the Speaker of the National Assembly Shirin Sharmin.