Deceased Staff: Quah Yin Thye

We extend our condolence to the family of the late Mr. Quah Yin Thye who passed away on 8-12-2002.

Quah Yin Thye

(with his teak trees)

3 Feb. 1956 – 8 Dec. 2002

On 8 December, Quah Yin Thye passed away without regaining consciousness for 60 days after being assaulted and robbed in Kluang on 9 October. He was walking back alone to his hotel after having dinner with his colleagues when he was attacked.

Quah as we normally called him was born in Alor Star. He completed his primary and secondary education at Sultan Abdul Hamid Primary School and Sultan Abdul Hamid College respectively. He obtained his Bachelor of Forestry Science from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand in 1979 and a Diploma in Business Administration from the same university in 1980 Quah started his career in the oil palm industry as an agronomist with Lam Soon Management Services from 1981 to 1988. After a short break in New Zealand , he joined Applied Agricultural Research Sdn. Bhd. (AAR) in 1989 and was a Senior Research Officer with AAR at his untimely demise. In 1997 he was awarded a Master of Science from Universiti Pertanian Malaysia for a comprehensive work done on the growth and flowering of Asystasia gangetica subsp. micranthaculminating in positive control strategies for this noxious weed.

Another of Quah’s major contributions to AAR and the Industry was his work on the use of plastic sheets for mulching immature oil palms (AA+ Mulch tm ). He was still working on refining and extending the use of AA+ Mulch tm before he passed on. Quah was also in charge of the research program on plantation forestry, his original area of specialization. The numerous impressive blocks of teak, mahogany and sentang that he had planted all over Peninsular and East Malaysia will now be memorials of his effort and hard work in this field.

As a colleague, Quah was very conscientious and most pleasant but would accept no nonsense from anybody. As a friend, he was always cheerful and helpful but careful with the company he kept. As a father, his only child, Sarah meant the world to him and the song “Sara” by Starship was his anthem for her. As a husband he was very faithful and endearing to Peggy. Basically Quah was a family man and his family came above everything else.

For a man who was so fit and healthy and in the prime of his life, the manner of Quah’s demise was not only very cruel and tragic, but also unnecessary. His very strong character, both physically and mentally was reflected in the way he fought for his life whilst in the hospital ICU. To Peggy who has shown great strength and courage throughout the agonizing two months that Quah was in a coma, please remain strong. We offer you, Sarah and Quah’s brothers and families our most heartfelt sympathy. We share your great loss as we have also lost a very good field researcher, colleague and most of all a friend who will be missed very dearly. The numerous messages of condolences that we have been besieged with from Quah’s friends in the Industry and before that the many phone calls that came in to enquire about his condition while in the ICU shows that we are not alone in facing this sad loss.

On a parting note, below is a poem from Chiu Sheng Bin in memory of Quah Yin Thye:

I am of the nature to decay, I have not gone beyond decay

I am of the nature to be diseased, I have not gone beyond disease

I am of the nature to die, I have not gone beyond death

All that is mine, both beloved and pleasing, will change and vanish

I am the owner of my actions, born and supported by my actions

Whatever I do, whether good or evil . of that I shall be the heir