PETALING JAYA: Captain Soon Tet Loy, who passed away on Sunday, was recognised as a man of many firsts in the history of the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN).
He leaves behind a legacy of commitment, passion and leadership in serving the country even before independence.
Tet Loy, 85, who was admitted at the Assunta Hospital died due to kidney complications.
A loyal servant of the navy for 35 years, he was a revered engineer who achieved much in his career, including being the maiden
Malayan naval officer to be admitted into the Royal Naval Engineering College in Plymouth, England.
He was also the first Malaysian chief staff officer technical, taking over from British personnel.
His first cousin, Soon Tet Leong, who was a leftenant in the RMN and worked alongside him for almost two decades, described Tet Loy as a responsible man who led by example.
“We grew up together in Butterworth and Bukit Mertajam. He joined the navy in 1956 and served the country even before independence. He was first trained as a naval officer, before becoming a naval engineer and the first Malaysian naval engineer officer,” he told theSun.
Tet Loy set big goals for himself. His most prestigious and notable appointment came when he became the first inspector-general of the RMN Inspectorate General Organisation in 1987.
A jack of many trades, he was an accomplished sportsman throughout his career and participated in pole vault, badminton and golf, representing the navy.
Tet Leong also described him as an engineering maestro, who ensured navy ships were functional.
“When imported ships from the United Kingdom needed repairs, he was the one given the responsibility. All his engineering subordinates had high respect for him.”
Tet Loy was given his military last rites yesterday in a wake attended by long-serving navy personnel and veterans.