Friday, April 28, 2006

Rest in peace, sifu M.G.G. Pillai

I feel extremely sad to have heard that sifu M.G.G. Pillai has passed away at the age of 67.

I know him personally since the late 1980s. Although I did not agree with some of his ideas and views, I have to say that I truly admire his fortitute and passion to assert the right to free speech for all even against powerful reaction from politicians and crony bourgeoisie.

Pillai's role and contribution in sparking off and sustaining the spirit of Reformasi in 1998-1999 must not be left unrecorded.

We last met in Petaling Jaya's Armada Hotel last year when Australian or ex-Malaysian author of Ousted! Patrick Keith and publishers Ian Ward and
Norma Miraflor met up Malaysian journalists to promote the book which, at that time, had not been approved for sale in Malaysia yet. After that, he joined one of Chin Peng's Ipoh lawyers (Chan) Kok Keong and me for lunch in an Indian restaurant in Brickfield. We had very thought-provoking chit-chat over coffee, tea and ais moru (for me).

I also remember Pillai as a sifu who loved to share his thoughts and views with youths. We explored and debated since mid-1990s themes ranging from the origin of Cold War to roles of Chinese secret societies in politics in Malaysia and Singapore, colonial statecraft in British India and its 19th century Great Game in Afghanistan, Indian cultural influence in the behaviourial pattern of Malay politics, the psychological root of Tamil Tigers and darker sides of Harry's politics in Singapore, etc.

Above all, I remember Pillai as a journalist and writer who dared to disagree and argue with even prime ministers and ministers.

Rest in peace, sifu Pillai.

May God bless your soul.

Veteran journalist MGG Pillai dies

MGG Pillai's Journalism & Commentaries Online

Farewell, MGG (Jonathan Kent)

In remembrance of a media icon

Author of Ousted! passes away in Melbourne


Blogger wargabebas said...

I have never met Mr. Pillai in person. I have only communicated with him through online forums and e-mail. He was a gentleman. Always happy to impart his vast knowledge and experience. I wished I had known him longer. Some of the things he knows goes beyond what is published in mainstream media. As a side note, although skilled at typing his articles through the keyboard, he was also an avid user of fountain pens. He has a good collection of fine pens. He boast to be able to write speedily with an italic hand.

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