PETALING JAYA: Always a pressman at heart, the late columnist Soo Ewe Jin had been passionate about unearthing the “naked truth”, even during his teenage days.
In fact, The Naked Truth was the name of his first magazine that he produced at 15.
“It was our class magazine. Our teacher Lim Hoang Hoang encouraged us to spend time on the project after our LCE (Lower Certificate of Education) examinations,” recalled Tan Gim Teik, a classmate of Ewe Jin from his Form 3A class at the Penang Free School in the 1970s.
Tan said Ewe Jin, as the editor, was tasked with collecting articles from his classmates, which ranged from reflections on teenage life to commentaries and poems.
“I even wrote a piece on moderation,” said Saw Thiam Hin, another classmate.
The magazine was published by one of the classmates’ father who was in the printing business.
Saw and Tan remembered Ewe Jin as a talented writer even at that age and more importantly, as a kind and helpful person.
“Ewe Jin played an instrumental role in setting up the Red Crescent Society in 1976. We were in the committee together and he was the head.
“We started the first sick bay in school. Ewe Jin was never afraid to speak up – even to adults. He would always fight for what is right,” Tan said.
Ewe Jin lost his battle with cancer in November.
A scholarship for aspiring journalists was set up in April this year in his memory, called the Soo Ewe Jin Scholarship.
His classmates and form mates managed to raise RM56,300 for the scholarship within three weeks in April.
Yesterday, the cheque was handed to The Star’s editor-in-chief Datuk Leanne Goh and Angeline Lim, Ewe Jin’s widow, at Menara Star.
“We hope this scholarship will be awarded to future journalists who share the values which Ewe Jin had lived by. With the scholarship, Ewe Jin will continue to live on,” said Saw.
Ewe Jin was The Star’s executive editor and best known for his Sunday Starters column which touched the lives of many with its strong message of compassion, kindness and charity.
The Soo Ewe Jin Scholarship was set up on April 7 in his memory and will sponsor one undergraduate every year for a Bachelor in Communications (Journalism) degree at Universiti Sains Malaysia.