GEORGE TOWN: Lawyer-philanthropist Datuk Seri Khoo Keat Siew has passed away at the age of 91.
His son, Alex Khoo, said his father died of old age at his house in Pulau Tikus and was accompanied by his children.
"He passed away peacefully on Thursday (June 10) morning because of old age," he said briefly when contacted.
Fondly known as Baba Khoo for his proud heritage of Peranakan roots, Khoo studied law at University of Bristol in the UK before being called to the Bar in 1957.
He married Daisy Yeow, 81, and they have three sons.
He is also responsible for setting up the Befrienders in Penang in 1978, when the state was in the midst of becoming the nation's industrial powerhouse.
And in the same year, he started the Cheshire Home to help rehabilitate the disabled, together with the consort of the then Penang governor, Toh Puan Saadiah Sardon.
He led the Straits Chinese Association and was responsible in making “dondang sayang”, and the Baba and Nyonya culture were kept alive in Penang.
He is also the former Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi president and former Kong Hock Keong board of trustees chairman.
Komtar assemblyman Teh Lai Heng said he received the news about Khoo passing away and expressed his sadness about the matter.
"Penang has lost a great man who has served a lot to the community, his contribution will be remembered," he said.
Khoo's funeral service will be held at his residence on Saturday (June 12) at 11am and the cortege will leave for burial at Khoo Kongsi Leong San Tong Cemetery.
The funeral service will only be limited to close family members to adhere to the strict standard operating procedure during lockdown.