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Thanks, Uncle Chua

SOMETIMES in life you meet people you can't find faults with. They're not perfect but in their own ways, they're just very nice souls who don't bitch or bite, or show any vibe of negativity towards others around them. I was fortunate to have known a person like that in Chua Kok Hwa, a press photographer and friend who passed on Oct 10. 

Photos by Sam Tham 

Chua was 20 years my senior. He was one of two photographers assigned to Metro section of The Star when I first joined the company. I guess that made Chua a lot more special to us in Metro as we got to know him better. A man of few words but those few words were always witty, sound and sincere. He also came with a ready smile. 

As a young reporter, working with Chua was fun, easy and educational as he understood our stories and styles well and translated them into pictures that spoke just more than a thousand words. Those who've worked with him closely would also know that he had no excuses for demands and requests from writers and some almost impossible editors. What I admire most about Chua is that he never let the glamour of the job get to him; he remained humble, a trait that many media members fail to retain over the years. 

I have countless memories of Chua, whom some of us fondly referred to as Uncle Chua over the years. One that stands out is when he took me out for Char Siew on Tengkat Tung Shin when he learned of my crazy love for Chinese BBQ pork. He was very likeable like that. We had a thing for Chinese hawker food so we connected on that platform early on. 

My regret is that I never visited Chua the last time I was in Kuala Lumpur. Time was an issue during that short trip although I had wanted to see him. That doesn't count now, does it. Chua suffered from nose cancer for a few years. He'd been really sick in the recent months and his demise was expected. Too soon to go at 55 but thanks for everything, Uncle Chua. 


  1. Sounds like a great guy indeed

  2. Oh, that's young. What a nice tribute to your colleague.

  3. He had a nice smile. I hope his example will influence others.

  4. The only shame to read here was that this gentleman died far too early, because he sounds like one of those people whose death is greeted with pride and affection over sadness, it's just not right that he left so early because it sounds like he accomplished an incredible amount in his 55 years of life, he sounds like an absolute gentleman and his death is something I'm very sorry to hear about, like I say though I think honouring his life is something that's important more than sadness, it sounds like he's somebody who's going to be missed very much.

  5. Sounds like a good guy. Wish I'd had an uncle like that. He may have had a limited number of years but it sounds like he lived well. Good to see you still blogging. Take care.

  6. He sounded like a great person, RIP.

  7. RIP Uncle Chua... I wish there were more like him in the world.

  8. Awww, he sounds lovely. Too young to leave this mortal coil.

  9. Just stopping by to say hi, Jaya J. :)

  10. :(( I thought you were back... Are you okay?

  11. Also... try and find your show at my show today :)

  12. Check out THIS drawing. See anyone familiar?


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