Khoo Kay Kim to be Buried on Saturday

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The late historian and academician Prof Emeritus Tan Sri Dr Khoo Kay Kim, 82, will be buried at the Nirvana Memorial Park (Nirvana) in Shah Alam on Saturday.

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His eldest son, Eddin Khoo, said his father’s remains were not taken to his residence in Petaling Jaya but to the Nirvana Memorial Centre in Sungai Besi, for preparations to be carried out.

Those who want to pay their last respects can do so from Thursday to Saturday morning.

“His casket will be placed at the Nirvana Memorial Centre in Sungai Besi to allow family members and friends to pay their last respects before the funeral.

“The public is welcome to pay their last respects,” he told reporters at the Nirvana centre today.

He said the funeral ceremony would begin at 10.30 am on Saturday.

Khoo died of a lung infection at the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre in Petaling Jaya at about 10am today.

Khoo, who was born in Kampar, Perak, leaves behind his wife Puan Sri Rathi Khoo, 75, and three sons — Eddin, 50, Rubin, 47, and Mavin, 42.

He was also one of the writers who drafted the Rukun Negara after the race riots in 1969.

Khoo pursued his undergraduate degree in University of Malaya, Singapore, in 1959, and subsequently obtained a master in history from the Faculty of Arts, University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur in 1967 and in 1974; he became the first Malaysian to obtain a PhD for his thesis titled The Beginnings of Political Extremism in Malaya 1915-1935.

He was appointed as a lecturer in University of Malaya in 1967 after two years of tutorship and gained his professorship and appointment as the Chair of Malaysian History from 1974 up to his retirement in 1992.

He was also the first lecturer outside of Malay Studies to conduct lectures in the national language.

He served more than 50 years in University of Malaya and throughout his tenure there, he taught many current leaders of the country.

For his outstanding service, Khoo was honoured with the ‘Emeritus Professor’ title by University of Malaya in 2001.

In April 2017, he published his autobiography titled ‘I, KKK – The Autobiography of a Historian’, where he shared his earliest memories growing up in pre-independence Malaya, all through his journey to becoming a beloved teacher among many of Malaysia’s prominent figures.

He said that the book was dedicated to Malaysians for them to have insights about the country, particularly the youths.

“I want young people to know and be proud of Malaysia. Many foreigners praised Malaysia and it is something that many people don’t know, Malaya is a rich country in the whole of the British empire before World War Two,” he said.

He also won the prestigious 2018 Merdeka Award for Outstanding Scholastic Achievement for his contribution to the scholarly research, development of reinterpretation of Malaysian history and lifetime dedication in history education in the country that has shaped post-independence study of history in modern Malaysia.

In an interview, Khoo had, however, admitted that had history not intervened, he might have been a footballer.

Khoo had said he would have been content with a simple job as long as he could have gone on playing football competitively, even though there was no money in the sport back in the 1950s.

After independence, however, he had said uncertainty about the future led him to opt for university instead.