Greatly respected and much-loved journalism pioneer

PETALING JAYA: Datuk Ng Poh Tip, who carved her name in history as the first female group chief editor of a newspaper in Malaysia, should be honoured as a pioneer of remarkable independence and competence, say media practitioners.

Ng, who was at the helm of The Star from 1993 to 2003, passed away yesterday at the age of 81.

Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil offered his condolences on X and Instagram, acknowledging Ng’s substantial impact.

“Her contributions and dedication to journalism will be forever cherished and remembered. May her soul rest in peace,” he said in a post.

The journalism community also expressed deep sorrow over her departure.

“(She) was a true-blue journalist, respected by colleagues and the public alike. She broke many firsts in her remarkable career,” said national journalism laureate Tan Sri Johan Jaaffar.

“We were both present on numerous foreign assignments and importantly, during the turbulent times of the political crisis of 1998 leading to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s ousting.

“Throughout, she maintained her composure – her calm a virtue much needed in such trying times,” he added.

Malaysian Press Institute (MPI) president Datuk Yong Soo Heong remembered her as “an unassuming lady with a perpetual smile in her interactions, who was quiet yet astute in her profession.”

“She was the most amiable editor-in-chief I’ve known in over 50 years. Her presence was not domineering but rather that of a consensus builder,” said veteran journalist and blogger Datuk A. Kadir Jasin.

Pana Janviroj, former executive director of the Asia News Network (ANN), described Ng as a towering figure in Malaysian and Asian journalism who leaves behind “an unmatched legacy”.

“She operated with a gentle approach, yet her decisions were always forceful and correct.

“And yet, in her humble way, she would not have admitted to the success or allowed anyone to portray her in such light,” he added.

ANN was established in 1999 as a voluntary alliance of leading news titles in the region to promote journalism from an Asian perspective.

Its chairman Mahfuz Anam, also editor and publisher of Bangladesh’s The Daily Star, said as a founding member of ANN, Ng provided that essential vision, energy and commitment that brought the network into reality.

“Ng was not just a founding member of ANN and its former chairman, she was the moral and ethical compass who guided many members of the network even after she retired from The Star,” said Ravindra Kumar, editor and managing director of The Statesman of India.

“Her calm and gentle demeanour, as well as her grace, masked a steely temperament that could always tell right from wrong.”

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Ng Poh Tip , The Star , GCE , Newspaper , Journalist


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