PETALING JAYA, May 28 — Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has paid tribute to the late historian Tan Sri Khoo Kay Kim, whom he said greatly contributed to the development of Malaysian history.
He offered his condolences to the emeritus professor’s family, saying he wanted to stop by his residence today, but unfortunately, did not have the time.
“This very great man and historian has been very fair to all races. He sticks to the truth,” Dr Mahathir said at a press conference following Parti Pribumi Bersatu’s weekly meeting at its headquarters.
The prime minister said whenever Khoo spoke of the Malays, ethnic Chinese, or Indians, he was always respected for his opinions.
“We have lost a very good historian, with his passing,” Dr Mahathir said.
The former head of Universiti Malaya’s history department passed away this morning of lung failure, aged 82.
He had served for over half a century in the department, first becoming a lecturer in 1967 before assuming the chair in 1974 to his retirement in 1992, after which he remained active.
Noted for his many writings which have also become a standard for teaching history in schools, Khoo was also one of the pivotal figures in drafting the Rukun Negara, following the deadly racial riots on May 13, 1969.