Ong See Fook Was Not Only The Longest Serving Civil Servant In Malaysia (61 Years) But He Performed His Duties With Distinction(e/c)

Press Statement by Chief Minister of Penang Lim Guan Eng In Komtar, George Town On 20.10.17

Ong See Fook Was Not Only The Longest Serving Civil Servant In Malaysia (61 Years) But He Performed His Duties With Distinction Through Loyalty, Humility and Professional Conduct Towards All Who Come To The Chief Minister’s Office Whether Ordinary Folks Or Famous Leaders.

Mr Ong See Fook, aged 83, a familiar and friendly face of Chief Minister’s office at Level 28 Komtar, passed away peacefully on October 18 at 8:15pm. He is the longest serving public servant in Malaysia’s history, having served for 61 years in government service. Mr Ong began his public service career on 3 September 1956 when he was 22 years old, even before Merdeka in 1957. He served three Penang Chief Ministers, Tun Dato Seri Dr Lim Chong Eu, Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon, and myself.

Mr Ong, a humble, sincere and dedicated civil staff in the Penang State Government Administration had served in several senior positions since the time of Penang’s first Chief Minister Tan Sri Wong Pow Nee as a staff under Penang Municipality in 1956. Subsequently Mr Ong was appointed to work as Tun Dato’ Seri Dr Lim Chong Eu’s Personal Assistant (PA) in the Chief Minister’s office on 1st September 1970. He continued as PA to the next Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon and myself when the present state administration took over in 2008. Mr Ong had spent 47 years at the Chief Minister’s office in Penang.

Mr Ong will be sorely missed not just because we have lost a living library of memories involving historical personalities but also his wealth of experience working with different leaders that can be a treasure trove of information. From a person who had witnessed the Union Jack being lowered from the flag post and the Declaration of Independence of the Federation of Malaya, to his long public service gives him a unique historical vantage point of the major events in Penang.

Mr Ong is also a civil servant that should be emulated by all members of the public administration. Reliable, dedicated and dependable, he is the model of discipline, loyalty and professionalism. When my wife wanted him to open the public safe where our family passports were kept, he bluntly told her that he must get permission from the Chief Minister first. He never divulged what happened during his work even to his family members. He was so tight-lipped about his office duties that his wife told me she never knew about major news events until she read about it in the newspapers.

He was so focused on his job of serving the Chief Ministers that he would stay on in office until the Chief Minister left. When I had to finish my work until 4am he was still there making sure that I had left before him. If I was in office during the weekends or holidays, he would also be there. He never used up his annual leaves preferring to sacrifice them to ensure that he could serve faithfully the Chief Minister – giving true meaning to the word public servant.

Mr Ong‘s regular meals reflects the simplicity of his lifestyle, economy rice of two vegetables dishes and one fish. Mr Ong has also been an active exponent member of Penang Taekwan-Do Association and was elected as the president from 1978 to 1985.

Our deepest condolences to his bereaved family. Mr Ong is survived by his wife Madam Lim Chooi Bee, Son Alvin Ong Tuck Meng & family. The Penang state government thanks his family for his services and will sorely miss him. Indeed, Ong See Fook was not only the longest serving civil servant in Malaysia (a total of 61 Years) but he performed his duties with distinction through loyalty, humility and professional conduct towards all who come to the Penang Chief Minister’s Office, whether they were ordinary folks or famous leaders.

Without him, the Penang CM’s office will not be the same but we will cherish the memories. Rest in Peace, Ong See Fook.

Lim Guan Eng
Chief Minister of Penang

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槟州首席部长林冠英于2017年10月20日在乔治市光大发表文告:

翁书福老先生在马来西亚公务员体系内服务了整整61年,缔造国内最长的纪录,更难能可贵的是,他在自己的岗位上忠于职守,鞠躬尽瘁,向所有首席部长办公室的职员及领导,做出了最好的示范。

83岁的翁书福老先生,是光大28 楼槟州首席部长办公室内一张熟悉又和蔼可亲的脸孔。他是在马来亚独立前夕的1956年,投身成为公务员,当时年仅22岁。翁老大半辈子都在公务员体系内工作,先后服务过敦林苍佑、丹斯里许子根、以及我本人。翁老缔造了大马的历史,以61年的服务期成为在职最久的公务员。而今年10月18日晚上8时15分,他退下了人生的舞台,与世长辞。

翁老为人谦卑、真诚,在工作他总是一步一脚印,努力完成所托付他的任务。他一生在槟州政府底下出任过好几个资深职务,包括在1956年第一任槟州首长丹斯里王宝尼执政时期,他于槟岛市政局工作,随后,他在1970年9月1日被第二任首长敦林苍佑委任为首长私人助理,正式到槟州首长办公室上班。当丹斯里许子根博士就任第三任槟首长,翁老继续留任。到了2008年我当上首长时,翁老依旧是首长的私人助理。翁老在槟首长办公室一待就待了漫漫的47年。

翁老见证过英国国旗从旗杆降下,马来亚联邦宣布独立,还有许许多多发生在槟城的大小历史事件;他亦曾和多个领导人共事,经过不少的风风雨雨。他的工作经验何其丰富,就像一座活的图书馆。对于他的离去,我们深感不舍。

翁书福老先生也是一个值得所有公务员仿效的长者,他值得信赖、敬业又可靠,他的一生向大家展现了什么是纪律、忠诚以及专业。犹记得有次我的太太要他帮忙打开我们家收藏护照的保险箱,他告诉我太太,他必须得到首长的批准后才能打开保险箱。再者,他一向守口如瓶,从不对其他人甚至是家人透露一丝关于办公室的机密或事情,他太太告诉我,有时候要自己看了报纸,才知道发生了什么大事呢!

对于服务首席部长,翁老可说是鞠躬尽瘁,只要首席部长有在办公室,就一定会看到他陪随左右,直至首长离开了,他才会踏出办公室。有次我在办公室赶夜车至凌晨四时,他仍坚持守候在旁,说要等到首长回家了,他才会关上办公室的灯然后离开光大。如果我在周末或假期期间有事回办公室,翁老也会二话不说,提早打开办公室的门,等我上来工作。这些年来,他风雨无阻,连年假也不愿使用,只求做好份内的事情。他的言行举止,无疑展现了公务员的最高情操。

翁老的一餐,常常是一碟两菜一鱼的经济饭,简约的生活风格尽反映在他的饮食当中。过去,翁老也活跃在槟州跆拳道协会当中,他曾在1978年至1985年期间,当选为该会的会长。

翁老身后遗下爱妻林水美,以及儿子翁德明,我们谨此向翁老的家属致以最深切的哀悼,同时感激翁老对槟州政府的服务与贡献。今后,翁老将永在怀念中。翁书福老先生在马来西亚公务员体系内服务了整整61年,缔造国内最长的纪录,更难能可贵的是,他在自己的岗位上忠于职守,鞠躬尽瘁,向所有首席部长办公室的职员及领导,做出了最好的示范。

少了翁老的身影,槟州首席部长办公室从此不再一样。无论如何,这些年共事的日子,我们已留下美好的回忆,日后必当珍而惜之。一路走好,翁老!

槟州首席部长林冠英

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