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Ong See Fook likely Malaysia’s longest-serving civil servant, says Tsu Koon

 | October 19, 2017

Ex-CM hails the late secretary to three Penang chief ministers as one of the most dedicated persons he ever worked with.

Koh-Tsu-Koon-Ong-See-Fook-longest-serving-civil-servant-malaysia-1GEORGE TOWN: Former Penang chief minister Koh Tsu Koon hailed the late Ong See Fook as the country’s longest-serving civil servant, in a eulogy following his passing yesterday.

Ong, 82, was private secretary to the present CM Lim Guan Eng, Koh and Dr Lim Chong Eu. He held the post since 1970 and, prior to that, worked in various positions in George Town City Council.

Koh said that during a visit a few weeks when Ong was ill, the latter had told him he was eager to return to work.

“At that time, he could barely walk, yet he still talked about going back to office.”

“He was indeed one of the most dedicated government officers I have ever worked with,” Koh said today.

Koh said he and Ong had known each other before he entered politics.

“I had known See Fook for more than 35 years, even before I went into politics in 1982. I was then helping my late father, Koh Pen Ting, in his capacity as a community leader.

“There were times when See Fook contacted us to coordinate the attendance of the then CM, Lim Chong Eu, in community functions. Ong and I had by then become friends,” he said in a statement today.

Koh said when he first became Penang CM, Ong was already 56 years old.

“I arranged for him to be a contract staff under a subsidiary company of the Penang Development Corporation so that he could continue serving in the CM’s office with his wide knowledge, vast experience and good networking.

“By the time I left the CM’s office in 2008, Ong was already 74 years old. He was by then the longest serving person in any government office in the country,” Koh said.

“Ong believed in serving the government of the day, elected by the people. He was extremely hardworking and meticulous, and sworn to confidentiality.

“I share a deep sense of loss and sadness with many colleagues, friends and the general public on his demise.

“I trust that Ong’s soul is now resting in peace, after having devoted so much of his life to the state, and being so respected and loved by so many.”


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