Prominent historian Khoo Kay Kim dies

Khoo Kay Kim. (Facebook pic)

PETALING JAYA: Khoo Kay Kim, one of Malaysia’s most well known and prolific historians, died today at the age 82.

He was said to have died of lung failure at University Malaya Medical Centre.

Khoo was part of the committee which drafted the Rukun Negara, the five principles that charted Malaysia’s national philosophy in the wake of the 1969 riots.

He also wrote countless works in both English and Malay on Malaysian history.

He served for over 50 years in Universiti Malaya’s history department, counting many prominent Malaysians as his students.

Khoo, who leaves behind wife Rathi and three children, Eddin, Rubin and Mavin, was also an ardent football fan, often providing frank criticism of the national team’s performance.

In one interview with FMT, Khoo blasted the national players, saying they were not using their brains when on the field.

“How do we expect good results when they always deliver the ball to the (opponent’s) goalie?” he asked, following Harimau Malaya’s thrashing by Indonesia during a friendly match in September 2017.

But Khoo will be best remembered for his works on Malaysian history, which shaped the country’s narrative post-independence.

Rubin, 47, told Bernama his father had undergone by-pass surgery in October, and that his health had deteriorated after that.

“Despite his poor health, he persevered until the end,” he added.