Saturday, December 18, 2010

Funeral fit for a king

By
Dr Chen Man Hin, DAP life advisor

On December 16th, about 10 DAP members attended Fan Yew Teng’s funeral, which was held at the Church of the Redeemer in Bangkok. Sdr Lim Kit Siang, Sdr Fong Kui Lun, Sdr Lee Kow and Dr Chen represented the DAP. Five other, members from Selangor drove all the way from KL to Bangkok for the funeral.

There was also a second service, this time in a Buddhist Wat. Fan Yew Teng found the chants, prayers and psalms very soothing when situations were stressful. He requested for buddhist rites, according to his wife, this service was well attended.

At both services, there were crowds of people. Among those present were Thais and members of the diplomatic corps representing countries of the world. You could say that Sdr Fan Yew Teng had a funeral fit for a king.

And rightly so, as Fan was a champion of the poor and oppressed not only of Malaysia but also the countries of the world through his participation and links with international socialist organisations.

It is also well known that his wife, Noeleen Heyzer shared his enthusiasm to save the world. Her work as a United Nations Under Secretary General all these years had helped many countries to take the road to peace and prosperity.

Sdr Fan must have been a very happy man to have a lifetime companion who share his ideals and hopes. They would have mutually encouraged and inspired each other in the task to achieve a better world.
True to character, Fan does not abandon his ideals or unfinished business. Although he has gone, he has left us a legacy which will ensure that his lifetime work is left to posterity. His work will live on through the FAN-HEYZER FAMILY — his wife Noeleen and daughters Lilian and Pauline.

Noeleen was a champion of human rights and justice in her own right. While quietly pushing for peace, security and progress in the poorer and less developed countries. She has achieved international recognition for her work. she won a Fulbright scholarship in her youth. To day she holds the post of the Chief Executive of United Nations ESCAP (Economic Social Commission Asia Pacific), headquartered in Bangkok.

He also left a legacy of two very bright daughters, Oxford scholars Lilian and Pauline who think and speak in the fashion of their late father. Maybe they might become the future Fan Yew Tengs also?

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