Heah Hock Heng passed away on 20 October, 10 days short of his 64 birthday. I first met Heah, in the 80’s, when I just joined the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS). He needed volunteers to help do a painting job at the MNS field centre in Cameron Highlands.
Apart from working as a painter I also ended up cutting chillies and onions etc. in the kitchen. Heah was both the project manager as well as the chef at that time. He was already renown then for his work in the field .
My painting was not up to standard and neither was my cutting skills. But that was the beginning of my long friendship with Heah and later with his wife Cheong Ann and some friends from the MNS days.
Heah (standing in the far right) making sure that the lunch for the party was in order, 2007, at KLPac.
Two years ago, I asked Heah and his friends to help cook a lunch for 100 persons. This was a party for a mixed disability group of friends at the KLPac. It was to celebrate the exhibition of photographs of the disabled athletes, which I had done.
Heah was one person who was always willing to help, when he can, no matter what it may be. He also had a distinguished career as a project manager for forest and environment related projects in Malaysia.
Heah with all his friends helping out at the KLPac lunch for the disabled friends, 2007.
But most of all, Heah will be remembered as a chef, for feeding thousands of MUS members ‘5 start hotel food’ deep in the Malaysian mountains.
Heah’s funeral will be on Saturday 24 October, 2pm, Trinity Methodist Church, Petaling Jaya.
Some visitors at the exhibition
Wuan and Peter Tan talking to some visitors
Me, Raymond, Lee (from Applied Imaging that supported this project) and Tuan
Stephano signing in the visitor’s book, Peter Crook chatting with Peter Tan
This join exhbition with Peter Tan & Wuan is a revisiting of the momories of our mother’s death and our grief. But it is not only that, to some visitors this show acts as a reminder to them that death is a mystery and it can happen to anyone at anytime. Some said that after looking at our presentation, they hope that their own children will one day do something like what we have done for our mother, for them when they are gone. There are a few who happened to be there, at the KLPac, but haven’t come to see our project and they would not look at the pictures at all and walk straight pass. Of course many are surprised by what we are showing. We hope this display will open minds to an eternal truth about our human condition – death. How shall we prepare for it?
Dominic is ten and he is in standard four in a Chinese school in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur. His mother, Lim Siew Chong, is blind due to a car accident when she was twenty-one, in Ipoh. A few years back, both of them moved to live in Brickfields where she could train as a masseur at the Malaysian Association of the Blind (MAB) and then later work as a blind masseur in that area. There is a small community of both the blind and the deaf in this part of the city.
Dominic and his mother are both members of the harmonica music group from the MAB. This group of seven part-time musicians was invited to perform at the Sunday lunch party organized by Victor Chin and his friends at the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Center (KLPac) on the 24 February.
On that day, after lunch, Dominic together with about 20 people, young and old, some with disabilities, were invited by Nala Nantha, from the KLPac, to join her in an hour of theatre-based activities and games. The following day Nala contacted Victor and told him that she was impressed by Dominicâ€™s natural ability and focus during the session and said that she would like to offer a semester of free classes to Dominic.
When Victor contacted Dominicâ€™s mother and told her about Nalaâ€™s offer, she was not vary sure at first, but she agreed to come with Dominic to meet Nala the next Sunday at the KLPac. After the meeting and also getting a sense of the place and the activities at the KLPacÂ Siew Chong was a bit more assured. But she finally consented when Victor Chin and Nala assured her that Dominic will be safe and will be provided with transportation and food as well on the Sundays when he has classes.
After his first class Dominic said to Nala that he really enjoyed the session and also he was pleased to meet with many new friends outside his normal group of pals.
Victor Chinâ€™s Sunday lunch party on the 24 of February at the KLPac is now in video. The video footages were shot by several people on that day including Lucian, Numpueng and Victor. However this short presentation was edited by Victor and this is his first video in youtube.
This recording brings together some of the faces, the families and friends, the food and drinks, the music, the conversations and fun meetings and also some of Victor Chinâ€™s photographs on exhibition at the KLPac. Enjoy.