Cause of death: What happened to Asri Sunawan aka Riz Sunawan? Former Radio Host & News Presenter dies aged 45


Cause of death: What happened to Asri Sunawan aka Riz Sunawan? Former Radio Host & News Presenter dies aged 45

On February 8 at 10:46 a.m., former BERITA anchor Asri Sunawan, also known as Riz Sunawan, passed away. He died at the age of 45. His close pals are also aware that he has battled a chronic disease and that it may lead to his death. In this post, we’ll learn more about Riz Sunawan’s illness, how he passed away, and Riz Sunawan cause of death in detail.


What happened to Asri Sunawan?

A former lawyer, Riz Sunawan, real name Asri Sunawan, 44 years old, has breathed his last this morning. This was confirmed by a close contact of Riz who was contacted by Berita Harian (BH).

According to his younger sister, Linda Sunawan, 33 years old, the deceased last spoke to his maid at about 8.00 am to take care of his needs, as usual.

However, his housekeeper noticed that he did not respond at 9.00 am and called him. He then rushed to the house. The deceased was later confirmed dead at 10.46 am.

“A week ago, he was weak, his condition is going to get worse, right? So, the doctor’s expected life expectancy is two to five years.

So, this is his fifth year,” said Ms. Linda to BERITAmediacorp. “When he really became very weak in the past four months when his late mother was gone. It seems he has lost something but he is still active,” shared the deceased’s father, Mr. Sunawan Dasuri about his eldest son.


Riz Sunawan cause of death

Riz Sunawan, was diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease (MND) which is a type of nerve disease in 2018, which causes his movement to be increasingly limited.

During his life, Riz was a fighter against motor neuron disease (MND), better known as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). He endured the disease for five years.

When met by Berita Harian (BH), the deceased’s father, Mr. Sunawan Dasuri, 72 years old, shared that the last time he was with his son was when they had time to pray together yesterday, a few hours before Riz received God’s call.


How did Riz Sunawan died?

“The two of us always pray morning and evening together even though he is lying on his back,” said Mr. Sunawan. The deceased is understood to have died at about 10 am at his house located on Chai Chee Avenue when his maid realized that the deceased’s pulse was no longer beating.

Describing Riz as a positive person who always cares for others while he himself suffers from an illness, Dr. Nazirudin said the passing of the deceased left a deep impression.

“Indeed from our experience dealing with Riz so far, he is an extraordinary person. He was still young but was tested by Allah swt with an illness that paralyzed him but never once did his passion to continue to contribute, connect with the community, interact with people, show his concern, that never faded,” said Dr. Nazirudin to BH.

In fact, until the last moment, Riz continued to work, looking for opportunities to sow goodness and this, said Dr. Nazirudin, reflects the clean heart of the deceased, and his very pure personality. He added that the attitude of the deceased can be something that the community can emulate.


Riz Sunawan’s Biography

He graced the screen of Malay television as a news presenter and presenter of Hal Ahwal Semasa, Detik program for two seasons from 2008 to 2009.

His talent in broadcasting cannot be disputed at all. He even received the prestigious recognition as the Best News Presenter (Malay) at the News Excellence Awards by MediaCorp News, Channel NewsAsia in 2009.

In 2007, he was allowed to appear as a radio commentator for the National Day Parade. In addition to his appearances on local television or radio, he also made several appearances as a host at several national and community events, especially with the presence of ministers as guests of honor.

Language Ambassador

He was once appointed as the Language Ambassador for Language Month 2018. After that, he continued to actively promote the dignity of the mother tongue.

In his condition, the deceased is still actively contributing to the preservation of the Malay language and culture by serving as one of the members of the Malay Language Council of Singapore (MBMS) Committee and the Language Month Committee.

The deceased was even enthusiastic about using the ‘Tobii’ device – which uses eye movement technology to type – to enable him to communicate contributing ideas for the organization of activities throughout Language Month.

His Determination to overcome the Disease

In 2018, the late Riz Sunawan was diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease (MND), which is a type of nerve disease that causes his movement to become increasingly limited.

MND causes nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord called ‘motor neurons’ to stop working or called ‘neurodegeneration’. A person suffering from this disease will also have difficulty moving, speaking and eventually breathing. There is currently no cure for this disease in the world and around 90 percent of patients with ALS have no family history.

Despite having to overcome challenges after being diagnosed with MND, he did not bend his determination and determination to contribute to society. He is active in raising public awareness about the disease he diagnosed – also known as ‘amyotrophic lateral sclerosis’ (ALS).

Leveraging his influence, he spearheaded a campaign on his social media using the hashtag #RizFightsMND. As part of the effort, a short 3-minute 24-second video was published to explain the MND disease and the challenges faced by its patients.

Some local artists such as Najip Ali, Huda Ali, Hafiz Nasir, Syarif, Marina Yusoff, Syed Azmir, and Fadhlur Rahman, even gave support to the noble cause, pioneered by the late. The spirit of the kindness of the deceased is very evident.

Even though he himself is facing obstacles due to the disease, he still cultivates the desire and actively implements as much effort as possible to raise funds and extend support to ALS patients like him.

Singapore MND Association

For example, he is one of the founding members and ambassadors of the Singapore MND Association, which was established by patients and volunteers in April 2021. The organization aims to support every MND patient and their caregivers to live a life with dignity, love, and hope.

In fact, he recently launched a bilingual book, the first of its kind published in Singapore, about the disease. With generous support from several parties, around 2,500 copies of the book were published.

The book also received a touch of inspiration from the writer and book publisher, Miss Hidayah Amin, and the book illustrator, Mr. Khairudin Saharom. For sure, this artistic person named Asri Sunawan will always be remembered.

President Halimah Yacob Condolences

Halimah Yacob also expressed his condolences on the passing of the deceased, which he described as “a great loss to the community.”

“The deceased will always be remembered as a fighter for the Malay language through his involvement with the Singapore Language Council. The deceased was also a strong supporter of the disabled and helped establish the Singapore Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDa). I met the late last year when the MNDa visited the Istana and during the launch of his book which aims to raise awareness about the illness he suffered,” said Puan Halimah in a post she uploaded on Facebook. The body of the deceased will be taken to the Al-Ansar Mosque in Bedok for funeral prayers and Asr prayers, according to BH reporters. – Additional reporting by SHAHIDA SARHID.

Amrin Amin Lawyer and community activist tribute

A bright light has gone out this morning. Riz Sunawan, an ALS fighter, succumbed to his illness. I admire him for his courage and determination. From his bed, he cofounds the Motor Neurone Disease Association of Singapore to provide support and comfort to fellow patients and their families. He also co-wrote a book on his illness to spread public awareness.  I remember him for his energy and passion. Rest well, my friend. Al-Fateh.


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