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Tribute to Dr. Ching Eng Leong (EL)

Victor Lim Kok Hooi, CPP, CBCP, CRMP

The security fraternity lost a stalwart when Dr. Ching Eng Leong lost his battle against brain cancer earlier this month. I am still lost for words on how his untimely departure has left a deep impact not just on me but the security fraternity in Asia Pacific and especially here in Malaysia.

EL, as fondly known by all of us, was a dear friend and mentor to many of us. He was ever willing to share his knowledge and experience with security practitioners around him. EL left a legacy not just in security but in the community that he lived in too. Even until March 2022, he was still making a difference and community events as the Chairman of Seberang Perai Tengah - Malaysia Crime Prevention Foundation (MCPF) Penang. His dedication and commitment were second to none.

Although I have heard many good things about EL and met him back when he was the TAPA Asia Chairman, I only started to develop a better relationship with EL when he came to Penang to work in Honeywell back in 2011. Over the years, we became friends and I regard him as a great mentor to me. In the realm of security, we work closely together as committee members in Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) Malaysia under the US Embassy where EL was the Chairman and in MCPF Penang where EL’s last position was the State Secretary.

Many might not know this, but EL served in the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) from 1982 to 1992 and was primarily in criminal investigation department. He resigned from the police force to complete his Bachelor of Social Science in University Science of Malaysia (USM). Throughout his corporate security career, he has been in many companies like Western Digital, TNT, Finisar, Sunpower Corporation and finally in Honeywell as the Regional Director of Security – Asia Pacific before he retired in 2020. Amidst his busy career, he earned his PhD in Criminology from USM in 2019 and this was amongst his proudest achievement. I believe that he was the only security practitioner in Malaysia who held a doctorate in criminology. His story and can-do spirit are an inspiration to the security practitioners that know him.

Post his retirement from Honeywell, he remained active in MCPF Penang and OSAC Malaysia. On top of that, he also obtained certifications from HRD Corporation as a Certified Train the Trainer and as a registered Higher Education Lecturer under the Ministry of Education (Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia). With this, he started lecturing mainly in security for Saito University College and other universities and training institutions in Malaysia. This was his way of contributing back to the security industry.

Last but not least, I wish to share on his journey in ASIS International. EL was the Chairman of ASIS International Malaysia Chapter for 3 years and I served alongside him as the Treasurer. EL was passionate in bringing in more security professionals into our industry and enhancing their security knowledge. Having said that, he was very instrumental in my journey towards becoming a Certified Protection Professional (CPP).  I thank him for that. When he was appointed as ASIS International Assistant Regional Vice President in January 2022, he kindly agreed to remain as our Advisor to help our chapter grow to the next level. He even attended our AGM in February 2022 although he was undergoing medical treatment. That goes to show what type of person he was - a great man.

We will miss you, EL. Thank you for everything.

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