November 3, 2010

Dato Sri Yao Ping Hua has been called the Lord

We received news that one of the leading members of the Foochow Community of SArawak passed away on lst Nov 2010 at a ripe age of 90.

Dato Sri Yao Ping Hua was born in Bintangor (formerly Binatang) on 8th May 1923. His father was the dearly loved Rev Yao Siew Khing. He was educated in Bintangor and Sibu. Later he attended an English school before he Second World War broke out.

He had many firsts in his lifetime :
1. He was the first English educated Foochow to join the Rajah's Government in 1940 at age 17 and served in the District Office Kapit during the Japanese Occupation.
2. He was appointed Assistant Clerk of Councils (Council Negri) in May 1957 after he had served in the Sibu Resident's office from 1946.
3. He was the first Sibu born Foochow and local born Sarawakian to have a three month attachment to the House of Commons to observe and learn Parliamentary practice and procedure.

4. He was the first Chinese (Foochow) Resident ever appointed and he was followed by only a few others of Chinese descent. He was Resident in First and Third Divisions.
5. He was the first CEO of RASCOM which was established to combat communist threats of that time.
6. He was Chairman of Committee to Review the Administrative Boundaries of the State of Sarawak." This took him two years to travel all over Sarawak to complete his duties. At the end of 1974, the Committee submitted its report to the State Government through the State Secretary with recommendations to (a) divide the existing 5 Divisions into 11 Divisions, i.e. the 1st Division into 2; 2nd Division into 2; 3rd Division into 3, plus 1 coastal Division; 4th Division into 3; and (b) to increase development efforts to provide more and better infrastructure for linking up the various urban centres and rural areas and to provide more public utilities and amenities at those places for the benefit of the people as a whole.

After his retirement he put God first and became a pastor like his late father. He travelled widely in Asia and helped with the work of Sarawak Methodist Church in many ways. But foremost he spent time to help Methodist Churches throughout Kuching which he adopted as his hometown.

A a memorial service will be held at Chin Fu Methodist Church Kuching. Many people will remember him as a kind hearted and soft spoken man. He is to be remembered as a strong Methodist who took care of his flock and people.

May his soul rest in peace. And may God grant strength and comfort to his loved ones.


天鵝江畔 said...

Dato Sri Yao involved Church activities as early as 60's. He was elected as a Lay-leader of SCAC during 1969-1972, and deputy lay leader at 1968, 1972. He was graduated from Trinity Theology College, Singapore after he retired from government post. He was ordained as a pastor at Australia Chinese Methodist Church around 1996(?).
He was appointed as a chairman of various boards of SCAC and MTS....

Sarawakiana@2 said...

I really admire him for what he did...after retiring from the Government service he took up theology and became a full time pastor in Australia!! Thanks ML.

天鵝江畔 said...

he was re-elected as Lay leader of SCAC started from 1973-1990

Sarawak Interventional Cardiologist said...

He was an administrative `giant' and yet very humble pastor who assisted me and others in drafting the constitution of mission conference of australian chinese methodist church in mid 90s in melbourne.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Thanks for the additional notes...I am sure your article in Methodist Message will be great and I hope to translate it and place here as Part B to my article...would that be ok? I feel I have only written 20% or less about him...

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear Dr.
I truly believe that he was a great administrator and in fact a natural manager. He was a very effective government officer too according to my friends inMiri who had worked under him.

God gave him a special heart and mind. And his father Rev Yao was also a great man.

Anonymous said...

There will be a book about him by the family soon!!

Ruey said...

Dear all,

I thank you for your kind words about my late grandfather. The family has set up a website - - to collect memories from all those who know and remember in him, as part of our efforts to preserve his name.

With thanks,
Leong Hsin Ru

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear Ru
Unfortunately I have not met any of your siblings. I actually went to university with your mum in MU ...I was in the Arts. Hope she can remember me (Chang Yi). My condolences again to you and your family.

Actually I would have more memories of your great grandfather and aunt.

Miss Ida Mamora would be one person who can contribute memories of your GD. May his soul rest in peace.
Will check out your website.
On a personal note - I remember your Grand dad as a person who always wanted to make the streets and toilets of Sibu clean without having to shout out loud!! He could be the first person to inspire our brethrens to keep public places clean.He was definitely a Government servant who was very concerned about the spread of cholera and other contagious diseases. But I don't have any document to support that.

And furthermore as a student of Methodist School Sibu I remember all the Board members including your GD would praise the school for keeping classrooms and toilets clean.In those days we students took turns to clean the toilets ..We had a challenge banner "Cleanliness is next to Godliness". My class used to win it all the time. But that was a long time ago....Our school's toilet was very near your Great GRand dad's wooden bungalow!!

God bless.

Anonymous said...

thanks for posting this. You say that you also know more about my great grandad? I am also curious about him. Myself and my immediate family (apart from my dad - Yao Ping Hua's youngest son) have the greatest challenge of knowing more about our family heritage and history, largely because we have are geographically the furthest away from 'home' - living in Canada. I will be keeping an eye out on your post and others' postings. I pass on the thanks of my dad as well.

Yao Choo Yee

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Hi Choo Yee
thanks for writing. I am fairly personal about your great grand dad. My grandmother passed away at 38 and my grandfather asked your grandfather who was his great friend to write a Chinese poem for her grave. Today I can say that my grandmother grave in Sibu is the only one with a great poem dedicated to a great wife and mother. Your grandfather wrote a beautiful one for her (check my blog)....Your grandfather amongst many other "talents" was a great poet....I believe your grand dad also had a very great opinion of my grandmother...the good words he used said it all. I value those opinions. Thank you.

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