Tributes pour in after death of ‘intellectual giant’ Martin Khor

Social activist Martin Khor.

GEORGE TOWN: Tributes have been pouring in for prominent civil society activist Martin Khor, who died this morning at the age of 68.

A family friend told FMT that Khor, who chaired research and advocacy organisation Third World Network, succumbed to cancer at his home in Tanjung Bungah.

Khor was also honorary secretary of the Consumers Association of Penang and the former executive director of South Centre, an NGO for developing countries based in Switzerland.

James Love, director of US-based NGO Knowledge Ecology International, said Khor had been deeply committed to the interests of those living in poverty and on the margins of the global economy.

“He was a friend and someone that I admired very much,” he said in a tweet.

Timo Voipio, an official at Finland’s foreign affairs ministry, said Khor’s death was a blow to the world, while Global Development Policy Center director Kevin P Gallagher said Khor had advocated globalisation for the betterment of the world.

“You lived a life advocating globalisation that would benefit all – especially developing countries. You leave when we need you most, but we will use your example to work even harder for a just global economy,” he said on Twitter.

Author Ann Pettifor said Khor had been instrumental in “amplifying” the voice of the poor during the Seattle World Trade Organisation (WTO) negotiations.

India’s Zakir Thomas meanwhile said Khor had been an “ardent advocate of equality and justice in the post-WTO, globalised world”.

“His work has influenced policies in many countries. The world is a better place because of you and many who carry on the unfinished agenda.”

Communications and Multimedia Minister Saifuddin Abdullah also conveyed his condolences on Twitter, saying Khor had been an old friend.

“Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of an old friend, Martin Khor. He was a distinguished journalist, economist… and once served on my consultative council at the foreign ministry,” he said.