Thursday, July 23

The Broken Shield offers condolence to Chan’s family

With the sudden demise of S.C. Chan in the early hours of 21 July, I lost not only a dear friend, but a “boss” who introduced me to write for Malaysiakini. Chan has been with Malaysiakini since it started some nine years ago and early this year he invited me for a cup of coffee and asked me whether I could help write for Malaysiakini.

He told me he needed someone who could write about Dayak politics especially with the coming Batang Ai by-election. I accepted the offer and since then I have been writing for Malaysiakini. Often I consulted him on a number of issues. As a boss, he was very kind and helpful.

Noted for his analytical writing on politics, Chan was a “home” bred journalist committed to expose injustices and unfairness meted to the unprivileged people. Coming from a Chinese-Iban parentage, Chan was very concerned about NCR land issues because he knew his mother’s NCR land was taken away by the authorities.

As a journalist, he must be the “first to know” of any happening in the country. Even while waiting to be operated, Chan smsed me on 20 July 2009 at 23.23 p.m. asking me “if there is any good story today” and reminded me to write on his behalf for the malaysianmirror. He was confident that he would be out in two weeks’ time.

Such was the character of a person who was so much committed and dedicated to journalism. The fact that he was so eager to know of the latest news speaks volumes of the man.

I knew Chan when I was working as a Press Officer with the state information department in the late 1960s. He was with the Sarawak Tribune. Since then, our friendship began until this day.

Therefore his sudden demise was a great shock to me as he said that he would be out in two weeks’ time. On behalf of The Broken Shield and its administrators, I offer our profound sorrow and deepest sympathies to his family.

Meanwhile, as instructed by the Editor-in-Chief of Malaysiakini, Steven Gan, I filed the following story for Malaysiakini:-

A well-known Sarawak journalist, Chan Seng Chai (S.C. Chan) passed away at 1.55 a.m this morning following a 14-hour heart operation at the Normah Medical Centre. He was 62 years old.

He leaves behind a wife, two grown up children and a grandchild. His remains will be cremated on Friday.

After leaving school, he took up a career as a reporter with then The Sarawak Tribune under the guidance of the editor, Dennis Law and news editor Raymond Adai. While being a reporter, he took up further studies and graduated with a journalism degree.

He left The Sarawak Tribune and stringed for a number of local and international papers and magazines. His column “Over a Cup of Coffee” in The Sunday Borneo Post has a great number of following.

Chan who is also known as Tony Thien was a staff reporter for the Malaysiakini right from the day the on-line news portal started.

His untimely death shocked many of his friends and politicians. Dominique Ng, state assemblyperson for Padungan and PKR advisor described him as always a professional reporter taking care to check and verify his facts before reporting. His passing would be deeply felt by those who knew him.

An NCR land lawyer, Baru Bian said that he had lost a dear friend. “I knew him for many years with a heart for the marginalized groups like the natives of Sarawak, as such he was ever ready to cover my NCR land cases and highlight their problems. I will miss him dearly,” he said.

Sulok Tawie, secretary of Kuching Journalists Division and former Secretary general of Sarawak Journalists Association, described Chan as one of the best known journalists, who was humble and willing to help young reporters who “felt lost” in the journalistic world.

He said he was highly respected for his views especially on politics and business and even being consulted by politicians.

Another Opposition leader, Voon Lee San, state assemblyperson for Batu Lintang, described Chas as a good friend who covered many of his political works in his writing.

As a journalist, he maintained a high standard in his profession who was sharp and feared no one, he said, adding that Sarawak lost an outstanding journalist.

The Editor-in-Chief of The Borneo Post group, M. Rajah said that Chan, as one of the paper’s contributors, was a Sarawak’s top notch journalist.

“I have known him since 80s and I have learnt a lot from him. He was my mentor. He taught me the art of news and feature writing.

“In my early days of journalism, when I virtually had no contacts of my own he introduced me to his contacts. I am truly indebted to him,” Rajah said.

Chan’s another close friend, Paul Kadang, who is attached to PKR Office in Kuala Lumpur, said that Sarawak had lost an outstanding personality and writer.

For those who had the privilege to know him knew Chan as one who often championed the causes of the disadvantaged, he said.



Utap said...

Sad. Pl extend my Condolence to his family. May God bless his soul.


Dear Broken Shield,

I wish also to extend my deepest condolence to Mr Chan family. May his soul rests in peace.....

However,under this sorrowful moment of times; times always goes by and waits for we must chase after the times and not vice versa. Remember; " PERJUANGAN BANGSA IBAN DI SARAWAK JAUH BELUM SELESAI....JADI BERUSAHALAH KITA SAMA-SAMA MEMPERJUANGKAN BANGSA IBAN SUPAYA SETANDING DENGAN KAUM LAIN DI SARAWAK "


Anonymous said...

2 sad to hear his passing.investigation should be conducted to see why the operation failed and also to see if there is any foul play or carelessness. he just can't die like that.....?????

Anonymous said...

chan's family should have gone to ijm to do his by-pass. for such a case he should have make up his mind to seek the best specialist to undergo his by-pass.

i don't know how he can trust the doc here when they have the least experiences. some say that luck play a part bin his death, but i say he make the wrong choice to have it done here.

i pity those who make the wrong choice when it comes to life and death. today we see this costly mistake.luck don't play a part in your life and death decision.

i was told many times that the survival rate in this specialist centre in kuching is very slim. many have make it but many don't. i beg u all not to risk your precious life in this sp/centre.

his death is waste and insist that this death must be probe and investigated. no life is that cheap. i smell rat and i hope his death is not in vain.

never waste your precious life just for the sake of convience . seek the best doc becos we live once ,not twice. always seek more than one doc.

today we have lost a man whose life they just .......

lord have mercy on those who failed him....