Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Chan Chew Koon 曾秋坤

Baron Chan, FRCPCH, MBE
© Gary Lee; Universal Pictorial Press and Agency Ltd
Chan Chew Koon was the first Chinese Lord appointed to the House of Lords in Great Britain. Chan Chew Koon or Michael Chan was born on 6 March 1940 in Singapore. He was educated at Raffles Institution, Singapore and studied medicine at Guy's Hospital.

Michael first served as lecturer and pediatrician at the University of Singapore (now National University of Singapore). Shortly after his return to Singapore, in 1974 he continued his studies in Von Willebrand's disease (a study on the symptoms similar to hemophilia) under the supervision of Professor Roger Michael Hardisty at the University of London's Institute of Child Health. In 1976, Michael then posted as lecturer and pediatrician at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (University of Liverpool). He remained for almost 18 years before appointed as the director of Ethnic Health Unit in National Health Service. 

Michael was an active social activist concerning the rights of minorities in Great Britain. He was an advisor to the Secretary of State for the Home Department and a commissioner of Commission for Racial Equality, a non-departmental public organisation in the UK which aimed to solve racial discrimination and promote racial equality. Michael also held various important positions in the field of race relations in the UK, and was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire in 1991. 

In 2001, he was appointed member of the peerage and became Lord Chan of Oxton in the County of Merseyside. Michael married Irene Chee Wei Len in 1965 and has a son, Stephen Chan and daughter, Ruth Chan. He died on 21 January 2006. 

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