He was already there when Unspun started as a young pup in The Star. As in The Star orbit, he sure had a loud voice, but Unspun remembers him as an unpretentious, kind fellow and emblematic of the generation that made the star.
Except for a few, most of them had little formal education compared to the graduates and overseas graduates in The Star today. But what they lacked in formal education they made up for in pluck and resourcefulness.
They were, especially to the more educated, a little rough round the edges, as evidenced by Hong Tatt’ loud voice which, next to the Crime Reporting Chief’s, could be heard from the other end of the newsroom those days. But what they lacked in formal education and finesse they made up for in pluck and resourcefulness. The Star would not be what it is today without men like Hong Tatt.
His death also reminds us all of our own mortality.
On hearing the news Unspun thought he’s reached the age where his colleagues slowly bow out. One day, depending on the luck of the draw, it will be Unspun himself. Nothing to get depressed about though. Such is life. Death does not matter so much as what you do when you’ve still got that spark of life in you.
Hong Tatt seemed to have had a good time while at The Star and was always welcoming to those of us who left Malaysia and went back to The Star for a visit.
Goodbye old friend.
Former Star photo chief dies
KUALA LUMPUR: Former The Star chief photographer Tan Hong Tatt (pic) passed away on Tuesday evening at Hospital Kuala Lumpur following a fainting episode at home on Sunday night.
Tan, 60, was watching television in his house in Happy Garden when he fainted.
Family members rushed him to the hospital. Doctors believed he had suffered a stroke.
He died at 5pm on Tuesday without regaining consciousness.
Tan began his career at The Star as a photographer in the Penang office in 1971. He worked his way up and retired as chief photographer in 2003.
Tan loved the great outdoors and was fond of taking pictures of nature at its best.
Colleagues remember him as a person with a loud voice and responsible in discharging his duties.