|Emeritus Professor Tan Sri Khoo Kay Kim, |
PSM, DPMP, DPMS, JSM, Ph.D (Malaya)
Khoo Kay Kim was born on 28 March 1937 in Kampar, Perak to Khoo Soo Jin and Chuah Gaik See daughter of Chuah Cheng Cheong. His great grandfather, Khoo Su Cheow was a tin miner at Gopeng and lived in Ipoh. Khoo Su Cheow's tin mines were operating during the early 20th century and declined in 1930. Khoo Kay Kim's grandfather, Khoo Heng Wan (d. 1918) was an employer of his father-in-law's business in Kampar. Khoo Kay Kim's parents were married in 1935, in which his father was a government servant, whom had served in Batu Gajah, Teluk Anson, Grik, and Ipoh. On 28 March 1966, Khoo Kay Kim married N. Rathi Malar and has three sons, Eddin Khoo Bu-Eng, Rubin Khoo and Mavin Khoo Bu-Ann.
Khoo Kay Kim was educated at the Anglo Chinese School, Kampar (1945-1951) and later to the St. Michael's Institution, Ipoh (1956). He received B.A. (Hons) History and M.A. History from the University of Malaya, Singapore in 1960 and 1967, respectively. In 1974, he became the first Malaysian to obtain a PhD in History from the Faculty of Arts, University of Malaya. In which, his doctoral thesis titled 'The Beginnings of Political Extremism in Malaya 1915-1935,' was under the supervision of Professor Kennedy G. Tregonning.
Khoo Kay Kim began his career as a teacher at the Anglo Chinese School in 1960. After four years teaching, in April 1964 he became a tutor at the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur. He was promoted to Assistant Lecturer in April 1966 until July 1968, where he became a full lecturer. Shortly afterwards, in July 1974, he was promoted to Associate Professor and held the Chair of History at the University of Malaya. In May 1975, Khoo Kay Kim was installed a full Professorship. He was the Dean of the Faculty of Literary and Social Science, University of Malaya (1984 - 1986) and was the founder and the first Director of Sports Centre, University of Malaya (1995 - 1996).
Khoo Kay Kim is famed for being the co-founder of the National Principles (Rukun Negara) and has written and published numerous topic in the history of Malaysia and its social development interests. On 7 October 2001, he was honoured with the title Emeritus Professor of History by the University of Malaya for his contributions to the History Department and the Faculty of Literary and Social Science.
Khoo Kay Kim is a member of the Selangor State Museum Board, National Film Policy Consultative Panel, Copyright Tribunal, National Cultural Advisory Council, Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS), Cluster Schools Advisory Board, Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM), Anti-Corruption Advisory Board of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and many others. He is also the President of the Malaysia Branch Royal Asiatic Society (MBRAS) and Advisor for Malaysian University of Southern California Alumni (MUSCA).
On 1 June 1983, he was honoured with the Johan Setia Mahkota (JSM) from the Federal Government. In April 1987, the Sultan of Perak awarded him Dato' Paduka Mahkota Perak (DPMP) which carries the title Dato' and subsequently on 11 December 2009, the Sultan of Selangor awarded him Dato' Paduka Mahkota Selangor (DPMS) which also carries the title Dato'. On 7 June 2008, Khoo Kay Kim received the Panglima Setia Mahkota (PSM) which carries the title Tan Sri, the Malaysian second highest title awarded to a civilian.
The contributions of Khoo Kay Kim to the national interests are often regarded as invaluable and insightful. His thoughts and views in the academia are highly sought-after. On 28 September 2012, he was admitted to the University of Malaya Medical Centre due to heart attack. Khoo Kay Kim pass away on 28 May 2019, leaving behind his wife and three sons.