Tonight the brilliant social scientist and statistics whiz Khoo Khay Jin succumbed to cancer at 9.00pm.
Khay Jin, a private person, was the brains behind some of the statistics and pointed observations on political, economic and social trends, some of which I used in my blog over the last few years.
I got to know him during a stint in 2000 at the Institute of Malaysian and International Studies (Ikmas), at that time headed by the late, great but humble Prof Ishak Shari, in UKM.
One of the most well read people around and a brilliant statistician, Jin continued to provide his insights behind the scenes. He was one of those rare people who could speak with penetrating depth on a broad range of subjects. When he spoke, you couldn’t help but listen with sheer admiration.
He had a special compassion for the plight of one of the most marginalised groups in Malaysian society, the Penan, and a deep concern for the environment. He also kept a sharp watch on growing income inequalities not just in Malaysia but elsewhere.
Malaysia is a much poorer place without the insights of this intellectual giant.
The wake will be held at the parlour of the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Pulau Tikus, Penang, on the night of 23 December and the funeral the next day, Christmas Eve, at 3.00pm.