Malay Mail editor-in-chief Wong dies at age 59

The late Wong Sai Wan.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malay Mail editor-in-chief Datuk Wong Sai Wan died at the Subang Jaya Medical Centre early today.

He was 59.

His son Wong Chee Mun confirmed news of Sai Wan’s passing when contacted by Bernama.

Chee Mun said his father had a history of heart problems and stroke.

He was pronounced dead at about 6 am, according to Chee Mun.

Apart from Chee Mun, Sai Wan leaves behind his wife Loo Poh Ling and daughter Wong Yik Pen, 25.

Sai Wan began his journalism career at The Star in the early 1980s, where among others he served as its Hong Kong correspondent and executive editor, before moving to the Malay Mail as editor-in-chief in 2016.

Malay Mail deputy editor-in-chief Joseph Raj said the Malay Mail family would deeply miss Sai Wan.

“He was not only our editor-in-chief but a friend who always was there for us if we needed his guidance and help, not only professionally but also personally,” he said.

Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) chief executive officer Datuk Mokhtar Hussain said Sai Wan always asked good questions as a journalist and was also committed to improving the quality of journalism in Malaysia.

He had presented a working paper before on how Bernama could become more competitive as a content provider to the local media industry, said Mokhtar, who had known Sai Wan since the 80s.

Bernama editor-in-chief Abdul Rahman Ahmad described Sai Wan as a friend and journalist known for his solid ideas, writing skill and willingness to share information.

Veteran journalist Datuk Seri Azman Ujang said Sai Wan epitomised quality journalism, a reputation he jealously guarded through all his work till the end.

“He was a product of the old school of hard knocks and pre-social media days. And a hardcore print media survivor until the Malay Mail saw its final print edition under his stewardship on Nov 30, 2018,” said the former chairman of Bernama.

The Star’s court reporter Nurbaiti Hamdan, 36, who first met Sai Wan during her internship at The Star in early 2008, said he was a tough but kind editor who knew exactly what he wanted from the stories he tasked reporters with. – Bernama