Message from Rama- R.I.P. Khoo Jin Eng (1959-1960) 22-6-10

Yesterday (Tuesday 22-6-10) Tam Kam Moon called from Seremban and informed my wife that Khoo Jin Eng had passed away suddenly. This news came as a great shock to all of us.

While on our way to the hospital yesterday morning, I mentioned to Poh Yuk that we were supposed to inform Jin Eng that he had been appointed as the auditor of the Kirkby Reunion Fund. Little did we realise then that this information will not be conveyed to him now.

Poh Yuk called Jin Engís wife and was informed that she was preparing a drink for him while he was standing beside her. All of a sudden he collapsed. While he was being taken to the hospital in an ambulance he passed away.

Jin Engís death comes 17 days before the Kirkby Reunion Penang 2010. He was very enthusiastic and was looking forward to meeting up with old friends. His wife told Poh Yuk that she did not want his payment for the Reunion to be refunded to her and that she would like to donate the RM350.00 to the Kirkby Reunion Fund. She mentioned that Jin Eng would be happy with this decision and was certain thatís what Jin Eng would have wanted her to do. This goes to show how deeply he felt for the Kirkby fraternity.

Jin Eng had attended all the Kirkby get together events in Penang. He was most considerate when it comes to his smoking which he never gave up. He would quietly go to one corner and have his puff and later would join us.

He was a good friend. He was in Block 8 and his room was opposite mine. He used to don a cap and green jacket and because of his size he resembled the cartoon character Andy Cap! He was very amused by this comparison.

After college he was posted to Kuala Trengganu. In 1964, I was posted to Kuala Trengganu after completing the Education of the Blind course at STTI. We stayed together in the same quarters with Tay Soo Hock.

Later he was transferred to Penang, his home town. Of and on, we used to meet up, more by accident than by design, have a little talk and then we moved on. Of late, I havenít met him.

In the 80s there was a great controversy when non-Mandrin-speaking teachers were promoted to Chinese schools. Jin Eng was one of them. He was ostracised and sidelined and not given any task or duty to perform in his new school. He would spend his time in the school canteen, drinking and smoking. Jokingly he would remark, ďAll my life I was looking forward to a school where I donít have to do any work but will continue to draw my salary.Ē That was Jin Eng with his sense of humour.

We will miss him terribly. May his soul rest in peace.

His funeral is on Thursday 24-6-10 at 2.oo pm from the Batu Gantong Funeral Parlour C. Those of you wishing to convey your condolences can call his wife at 016-4576341.

You can also drop a note to his wife at:

88-9-8 Kayangan Puri Mutiara, Medan Fettes, 11200 Tanjong Bungah, Penang.