Sunday, October 20

Author Chin makes ‘Cikgu’ Wong proud

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LAUNCHED: Wong presses a button to launch the book as (from third left) Lau, Kong, Chin, Tiong (right) and others look on.

SIBU: Minister of Local Government and Community Development Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh remembers author Ann Chin Kit Suet as a student with a sense of responsibility and discipline.

Wong, who taught Chin when he was a teacher, said she was a very good student.

“Ann, who now lives in New Zealand, was my student.  Today, we could see that she had become an author that all of us can feel proud of. I myself have a deep sense of pride.

“Being a teacher, you never know who are the students whom you used to teach could be successful,” he said at the launching of Chin’s books at RH Hotel here yesterday.

Chin, born and bred in Sibu, has self published three books – A Diary of a Bereaved Mother: Goodbye My Baby (non-fiction), From China to Borneo and Beyond (non-fiction), and Mail Order Bride (fiction).

Wong, who is also Second Finance Minister, said being a writer is not easy, especially when one wanted to make a living out of it.

He pointed out that the beginning is always the hardest as the author is unknown.

“But, when you ask any author why they wanted to write, they have many reasons.  If an author could come out with very good books, then the author could earn lots of money, but most of the time making profits is not always the point.”

He said Chin had played an exemplary role in coming back here to do something very meaningful for the people of Sibu.

On the book ‘From China to Borneo and Beyond’, Wong said it is a story of her families – the Chans (father’s side) and the Kongs (mother’s side) recorded from 1907 to 2006.

“She had written the history of the family from Guangzhou to Borneo and later on the family further established here and there all over the world.  It is a huge task, but Ann took great responsibility to write it.”

He added that her book and her coming back here drove home the message that no one should forget their roots.

“It is through things like this that all of us can stay united, particularly spiritually, even though we are in all corners of the world.”

Wong said Chin’s father, John Chan, was his teacher, and just like Chin, Chan had a great sense of responsibility and discipline, and was very approachable.

Meanwhile, Chin, in her speech, said Wong impacted her into what she could become today when Wong introduced her to the author Han Su Yin – a Chinese who wrote books in English.

“When I read her books, she and Dato Sri Wong inspired me.  I harboured a secret desire that someday I too can write books in English,” she said, adding that Wong was her teacher for four years.

She added that when she published ‘Diary of a Bereaved Mother’, people from European countries asked whether she wrote the book in Chinese and got it translated.

“I was a bit upset because I was thinking ‘can’t a Chinese write in English’.  But today, I do wish that I can write books in Chinese.”

She said ‘From China to Borneo and Beyond’ would be translated into Chinese soon.

She urged the Guang Ning people to stay united and to contribute to help the needy in the society.

The event yesterday was organised by the Guang Ning Association Sibu. Its chairman Kong Tze Ling, who was also present, said Chin was a pride of Sibu people, especially to the Guang Ning community.

Also present were Sibu Municipal Council chairman Datuk Tiong Thai King and Sibu Chinese Community Leaders Association chairman Vincent Lau Lee Ming.