I was sorry to learn this morning of the death of Mr Minhas Zulfiqar overnight.
Minhas was a much loved and well respected leading businessman in my electorate.
His senseless murder during a robbery in his home city of Karachi whilst travelling with his wife will leave the close knit Hills community in mourning.
I join other community leaders in offering my condolences to his immediate family as well has his brother, Freddy.
Minhas was a larger than life identity. I cannot recall a local event or charity that has not benefited from his generosity.
As the General Manager of the Crowne Plaza Hotel in my electorate he was never prouder when, last year, he won a National Hotel industry award and hosted a visit by the Premier in the same week.
His photo with the Premier took pride of place in his office.
The Crowne Plaza was very much a community lounge room for Hills residents and workers in the Norwest Business Park. For my family it had a special place as it was where we celebrated Lachlan’s Christening as well as Lachlan and William’s First Holy Communion, Nicole’s 40th birthday and my pre selection and election night party. On every occasion Minhas was present making sure everyone had a memorable time. His support for me caused a stir at my pre selection when he told party members that if I won he would open the hotel bar.
Last Christmas Minhas hosted my community Christmas drinks and ensured that the Salvation Army were well accommodated to collect gifts from guests for distribution to those less fortunate.
Minhas was a friend and counsellor to local politicians of all colours. He loved the Hills community and was proud of his hotel.
Nicole and I will miss Minhas very much. He was a generous and honest friend. The events overnight are a cruel reminder how lucky we are to live in a country like Australia where random acts of violence are very much the exception rather than the rule.