On the 9th of August 2017, ex-DAP Secretary General, Kerk Kim Hock left us forever, at the age of 61. This was after three days being in a coma, due to complications from an operation he had on Sunday.
DAP wishes to extend deepest condolences to his family. Their loss isn’t just personal, nor is it merely a loss for the DAP, but a great loss to the people of Malaysia.
Kerk led a meaningful life, filled with obstacles and battles. He was a student leader, a party leader, a legislative member and a courageous fighter against cancer.
When Kerk furthered his studies in mechanical engineering at Monash University, Australia, he was in agreement with the Australian Labour Party ideology, based on social democracy to aid the poor and destitute, and those who cannot help themselves. He was the chairperson of the Monash University Malaysian Students Union when he met Lim Guan Eng.
In 1986, Lim Kit Siang brought Kerk, who was 30 years old at the time to join the DAP, and he won the state seat of Durian Daun in the same year.
In October 1987, the BN government launched Ops Lalang via the Internal Security Act (ISA) 1960. Kerk was one of those detained, with 16 other DAP leaders at the time.
Kerk then won the seat of Pasir Pinji in 1990 with an impressive majority. In the 1999 elections, DAP suffered tremendous losses, but Kerk won the Kota Melaka seat and took over as the fourth Secretary General of the DAP. He brought back the fire in the DAP’s Rocket, when the party was at its darkest state.
In order to galvanize the party machinery, he continuously made reforms within the party from time to time. Kerk resigned from all party posts after his defeat in the 2004 elections.
His decision portrayed his willpower and integrity, and his sense of accountability in his political career.
When he was diagnosed with cancer in 2002, Kerk kept a positive mind battling the disease. In 2015, he suffered a relapse of rectal cancer, after 13 years having a normal healthy life. Even so, he didn’t lose hope and faith battling cancer. He never stopped caring for the party, nor his friends.
Kerk’s death is a great loss to his family, the party and all Malaysians who were inspired by his principled battle to realize the Malaysian Malaysia dream.
Last respects will start at 8am, Sunday, 13th August 2017 at his residence in 332D, Jalan Kenanga 3/10A, Tmn Kenanga Sek 3, Kg Lapan, 75200, Melaka. The cortege will leave at 10am to the Nirvana Memorial Park in Semenyih, Selangor.