SOCA's 50th Anniversary Dinner was held at HGH Hall in Sentul, on March 30, 2013.
For those who know Chinese, Ong as a surname, can have different spellings depending on a person's dialect. For eg., Hokiens with surname Ong are normally spelt correctly as pronounced. I have Cantonese or Hainanese friends with the same surname, spelt as Wong.
The more unusual Ongs with a different spelling are those of Teochew dialects, spelt as Heng. The current President of SOCA is a Mr. Heng; so is the owner of HGH Hall, Heng Gok Hai; and MCA Senator, Heng Seai Kie.
Many Ongs have different surnames, though spelt the same in English. Examples of such of well known Malaysians are former MCA Presidents Ong Ka Ting and Ong Tee Keat, but not Dr. Ling Liong Sik's wife Edna Ong, who is one of us.
It is a pity that the hardcover book on SOCA's 50th Anniversary is almost all in Chinese. This has the effect of alienating those who studied English (like myself) who will find the book interesting only because of the pictures.
Based on the pictures, I can surmise that a few luminaries with surname Ong had a brief write-up each on their achievements, or when they attended a function. As is usual with such organizations, we are proud of those who achieved outstanding success in education, profession, business and/or politics. Those with less known achievements are likely to have been left out, while those who underachieved might have to get over their inferiority complex! Besides those who are current office-bearers...
There was 'the late Hon. Tan Sri Dato Justice Ong Hock Thye (d. 1977), PSM, DPMS, also known as H. T. Ong was Chief Justice of Malaya and a Barrister-at-Law of Middle Temple. Born in Penang in 1908 he married Mary Chung Yuet See, the eldest daughter of Kapitan China Chung Thye Phin. He was educated at the King Edward VII School and St. George's Institution in Taiping and the University of London. He was the first ethnic Chinese to be appointed a Supreme Court Judge in the Federation of Malaya. He is the son of the late Mr. Ong Teng Up. He was Chairman of the Royal Commission on Non-Muslim Marriage and Divorce Laws. He was author of Law and Justice Through the Cases He was a former Chairman of the Malayan Association of the Blind, Brickfields.'
Also mentioned was H.T. Ong's brother, the late Hon. Ong Hock Sim who was also a Federal Court Judge. I could recognize Tan Sri Ong Kee Hui's picture. According to Wikipedia:
'Tan Sri Datuk Amar Ong Kee Hui (1914–2000) was a Malaysian Chinese politician and founder / leader of the Sarawak United People's Party (founded 12 June 1959).
He was bestowed the titles "Datuk" later upgraded to "Dato' Sri" (PNBS) and "Datuk Amar" (DA) by the Sarawak State Government, "Datuk" (PGBK) by the Sabah State Government and "Tan Sri" (PMN) by the Government of Malaysia.
Born in 1914 in Kuching, he was educated at St. Thomas's School in Kuching and later St. Andrew's School in Singapore before receiving his diploma in Agricultural Science from Serdang College and entered Sarawak Government civil service in 1935. Leaving government service in 1946, Ong entered business under the tutelage of Wee Kheng Chiang, his father-in-law, who appointed him manager of the family’s Bian Chiang Bank.
He was also Mayor of Kuching, Minister of Technology, Research and Local Government, Minister of Local Government and Housing and Minister of Science Technology & Environment in the Malaysian Cabinet from 1971 to 1981.
His father, Ong Kwan Hin (1896–1982), was Kapitan China for the Hokkien community whilst his grandfather, Ong Tiang Swee (1864–1950) was also Kapitan China, President of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, and one of the first two Chinese nominated to the Sarawak Council Negri (Legislative Council) in 1937.'
There was also a write-up on a lady (picture wearing a mortar board) who is currently working for the United Nations.
Many years ago, my late second brother was elected to be in charge of English section, but he was too busy to carry out anything meaningful. Can we (English educated) be blamed if we feel left out of the loop even though we might be interested? My grandparents and parents have tablets in SOCA premises and every Chinese New Year and other important festivals, religious ceremonies are held for those present to pray to our ancestors.
I sincerely hope that someone out there, who is in charge or related to one, who happens to read this, will discuss with the office bearers so that something could be done to include those who are English-educated. It would be nice to have an English version of the 50th Anniversary book. With the internet, the least they can do is to have a website and encourage those interested to register.
Note: Instead of having someone translate from what were published in the book, I have quoted from internet sources instead.