Guided by Loh and order

Goodbye, Madam: Sarjan Aris Ahmad (centre) and Koperal Norshais Shahadan from the Brickfields district police station’s welfare department paying their last respects to Loh. With them are (from left) Chai Ping, Jek Huang and Teik Huang. — GLENN GUAN/The Star

Late policewoman leaves behind an indelible legacy

PETALING JAYA: The late Helen Loh Kuen Chow, who served 35 years in the police force, was a remarkable woman known for her integrity, hard work, commitment and unwavering love for the country and its plural society.

She left behind an indelible legacy, balancing a career to uphold the law as a dedicated policewoman while not neglecting her role as a wife and mother.

Loh passed away on April 16 at the age of 88, surrounded by her eldest daughter Chua Chai Ping, sons Jek Huang and Teik Huang, and her grandchildren.

Chai Ping, 52, reminisced about her mother as an exemplary figure who navigated both her career and family life with incredible grace.

“She was always there for us. My mum encouraged us to be grateful for the many opportunities here,” she said.

Chai Ping highlighted her mother’s belief in traditional family roles, even amid the demands of a challenging career.

“No matter how powerful or successful you are in the outside world, at home, you’re a wife and a mother – a lesson she ingrained in me,” she said.

Loh also taught her children the importance of learning Chinese, suggesting they attend vernacular schools despite her own upbringing in the English medium. She also served as a chairperson of the Parent-Teacher Association, showing her dedication to education.

Although her children chose careers in IT and business, they gained a deep understanding of the law by often accompanying her to courts and police stations.

Hailing from a lineage of determined and wise women, Chai Ping shared how her grandmother, despite her illiteracy, valued education.

With family support, Loh was the first in her village to achieve a GCE O-level in 1957.

She then joined the police force as part of the Royal Federation of Malayan Police’s second intake of female officers – a pioneering move at a time when societal norms expected women to be telephone operators, teachers or nurses.

“My mother dreamt of being a lawyer but due to financial limitations, she eventually became a prosecuting officer,” said Chai Ping.

Throughout her service, Loh ascended to Chief Inspector and Assistant Superintendent, and was honoured with Ahli Mangku Negara.

Teik Huang reflected on his mother’s loyalty to the country, her integrity and discipline.

“She instilled in us that the value of work extends beyond monetary rewards. She resisted corruption and offered help out of genuine compassion.

“She even warned me that if I ever made a mistake, she would take me to the police station herself,” he said.

Seven years prior, Loh suffered a stroke.

“Since our father’s passing 12 years ago, mum has been staying with me. We took turns accompanying her on overseas trips and vacations,” said Teik Huang.

Loh’s wake was held at Nirvana Centre Kuala Lumpur, followed by a funeral service at 10.30am tomorrow.

Her cremation will be at the Nirvana crematorium in Shah Alam.

Former colleagues including members of the Retired Senior Police Officer Association of Malaysia, led by its president Datuk Meor Chek Hussien Mahayuddin, came to pay their last respects.

The Star had featured Loh’s inspiring story in 1980 and 2011.

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