Malaysian comedian Zaibo, best known in Singapore for his role as Yusof in the popular sitcom Under One Roof, died from cancer on Wednesday (14 November).
Malaysian media reported that the 62-year-old, whose real name is Zainal Ariffin Abdul Hamid, died at home at 1.30pm after a battle with stage 4 oesophageal cancer, which had spread to his stomach, lungs and rib cage.
Zaibo experienced breathing problems and died at his Johor home in the presence of his wife and two sisters. Doctors had diagnosed him with stage 4 cancer in September and initially warded him at Sungai Buloh Hospital in Petaling.
Zaibo played Yusof, a hen-pecked mee rebus stall owner, in Under One Roof which ran on Channel 5 from 1995 to 2003.
Under One Roof, about an eccentric family and their neighbours, was Singapore’s first locally produced English-language sitcom. The series also starred Moses Lim, Koh Chieng Mun, Vernetta Lopez, Nicholas Lee, Andrew Lim, Selena Tan, Norleena Salim and Daisy Irani.
Tributes to the veteran comedian have begun pouring in from both sides of the Causeway, including his former Under One Roof co-stars. Actress-turned-DJ Vernetta Lopez, who played Denise Tan in the sitcom, said on Twitter, “I am so devastated to hear our beautiful friend, colleague & abang has passed away. Zaibo was the kindest gentlest of men and it was a privilege to work with him. Condolences to his family and may he Rest In Peace.”
I am so devastated to hear our beautiful friend, colleague & abang has passed away. Zaibo was the kindest gentlest of men and it was a privilege to work with him. Condolences to his family and may he Rest In Peace. #zaibo Thank for the laughs n your spirit https://t.co/Qhw88k6eJ3
— Vernetta Lopez (@vernettalopez) November 14, 2018
Malaysian politician Anwar Ibrahim also tweeted his thoughts on Zaibo’s death, writing in Malay, “My condolences to the family, stay strong.”
Innalillah-tkziah untk keluarga,smoga tabah https://t.co/l2ro85r658
— Anwar Ibrahim (@anwaribrahim) November 14, 2018
Zaibo was paid a visit in hospital two days before he died by Johor princess Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah binti Sultan Ibrahim. The princess, who is a fan of Under One Roof, and whose brother died of cancer in 2015, said she wanted to offer her support in his battle against his disease.
The actor starred in Malaysian sitcom Spanar Jaya as well as films including Awan Dania and Manisnya Cinta Di Cappadoccia.
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