Former bassist of Malaysian pop-rock and ska band Spider, Tony Iskandar Alberto, has died. He was 51.
According to The Star, Tony was found dead at the Luncai Emas recording studio in Sungai Buloh, Selangor early Wednesday morning (June 30). His body was discovered by Spider member Nafie, who had dropped by the studio to collect some items.
The recording studio belongs to veteran singer M. Nasir. Its production director Mohd Khirin Omar (aka Keon) said that Tony had lived in the studio for the past three years.
“Datuk M. Nasir had prepared a room at the studio for Tony to do his composing,” Keon told The Star.
“Nafie happened to come by yesterday and he knocked on the room’s door. When there was no response, Nafie used a spare key to enter the room, and found Tony dead.”
Other than Tony, no one else was at the studio at the time of his death, as Malaysia is currently under a lockdown brought by a new COVID-19 wave.
Paramedics who were called to the studio confirmed the musician’s death, Keon said. According to the paramedics, Tony had passed away about four hours before his body was discovered.
His remains were later taken to a nearby hospital in Sungai Buloh for post-mortem. While the cause of death was not immediately known, Keon said Tony had suffered from diabetes. Harian Metro reported that Tony’s remains tested negative for COVID-19.
Tony was buried at a Muslim cemetery in Sungai Buloh on July 1. Luncai Emas, the record label that owned the studio, has shared messages of condolences for Tony as well as updates on his funeral on its Facebook page.
السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاتهإِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَDukacita dimaklumkan.Sahabat kita Tony…
Spider’s frontman Tam Mustafah called Tony’s departure a big loss to the band.
Tam said he met Tony two days prior to his death, and that Tony had made an unexpected apology to him for any past wrongdoing.
“My friends and I know about the health troubles he suffered. That’s why we constantly kept in touch and monitored his condition. Two days before he left, we met to give him food and pray together,” Tam told Utusan Malaysia.
“During our last meeting, he said ‘Tam, If I did anything wrong, I apologise’.”
Despite Tony’s departure from the band in 2012 due to health issues, Tam said the bassist remained close with members of Spider.
“He was jovial and entertaining. Everyone who knew him loved his demeanour and character,” Tam said.
Tony was a founding member of Spider, which formed in 1996 and went on to release six studio albums, starting with their breakthrough debut ‘Ngam Ho’ in 1999.
The band is most well-known for its 2005 ballad ‘Relaku Pujuk’ (‘Make Amends’), and other songs ‘Kasih Latifah’ (‘Latifah’s Love’), and ‘Laukku Cukup Masin’ (‘My Dish Is Salty Enough’).
Watch the band perform ‘Relaku Pujuk’ below.