ForeverMissed
It is with great sadness that we announce the peaceful passing of Dr Mei Ling Young this morning on 20 January 2021. A co-founder and board member of the International Medical University, Malaysia, her contributions to medicine and education are immeasurable. In 1992, together with Tan Sri Datuk Dr Kamal bin Salih and the late Dr Saidi Hashim, they had embarked on a mission – to establish an educational model that would allow more young Malaysians to pursue their ambitions to become doctors and other healthcare professionals through a globally recognised curriculum. Her determined and visionary leadership has been an example to us all for the near 30 years since our establishment.

For students and staff alike, Dr Young nurtured in us an unending thirst for knowledge. By her own example, she encouraged a humble but unyielding pursuit of excellence, and in her personal and professional life, she gave us the greatest gift of all: the dream of discovering new things for ourselves, and the ability to realise that dream.

Known for her charismatic, exuberant and caring nature, she will continue to touch countless lives - even as she passes on from this one. Her legacy will live on in IMU, through each student, staff and everyone else who have passed through IMU’s doors.

Please join us in a moment of silence and a prayer in your own way for Dr Young. May she rest in peace. Our deepest condolences go out to her family and friends, may they find solace and strength in their time of grief.

At the request of the family, please do not send any wreath. Instead, please make a donation in memory of the late Dr Mei Ling Young to Penang Hospice Society (CIMB Account Number 8003864144, Bank Swift Code: CIBBMYKL).
Posted by Lilian Tan on January 21, 2021
No words can describe how wonderful you are, Dr. Mei Ling Young. In my memory you will always be the warmest and most beautiful personality I have met. In the midst of your gentleness I saw strength; in the midst of the unknown I saw courage and determination. The legacy you leave behind will be the emulation for all. I am glad I have known you, you will be an inspiration for me and for all.  Rest in peace Dr. Mei Ling Young. Sincerely Lilian Tan
Posted by 大西 弘高 on January 21, 2021
Dr. Mei Ling was always serious about teaching and supporting not only for students but also staff and faculty. All the ones who met her seemed impressed by such her educational spirit...I am one of them. I am proud of working experiences with her. May she rest in peace.
Posted by Ismail Burud on January 21, 2021
Dr. Mei Ling Young, an ever smiling face was a great humanitarian who was an inspiration to many of us. It is a great loss to the institution. Her contributions to the society and the field of education are tremendous. She was greatly loved and admired by all of us. Condolences to thefamily
Posted by Gerard Flaherty on January 21, 2021
My deepest condolences to Mark and family, and to Mei Ling's IMU family and diaspora all over the world, on the sad loss of dear Mei. Mei was a very special person whose warm presence, intelligence and passionate drive for excellence impressed everyone fortunate enough to have known her. Her legacy in bringing together leading medical universities from across the globe to offer a unique educational experience to so many healthcare students is a truly remarkable achievement. We could never say no to Mei as she was such a visionary leader and she was also very persuasive, but always with a beautiful smile on her face! We were blessed to have shared many happy meals with Mei and her beloved Mark over the years. In the final stage of her journey, Mei carried a heavy cross with such dignity. Her suffering has finally come to an end. Mei Ling was truly an example to us all and may IMU, with its partner medical and dental schools, honour her memory by working together and continuing to maintain the high standards which she set.
                   Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam dílis.
Posted by Rachel Samuel on January 21, 2021
I was Prof Mei Ling Young's student in USM in the 1980s. I will always remember her as exuberant, lively, vivacious and with a lot of vigor. I always had this desire to emulate her as she left a very deep impact in me. I just read about her demise. Rest in peace Prof. The world has lost a beautiful soul.
Posted by Nicholas Glasgow on January 21, 2021
I am forever grateful that my role at the Australian National University (ANU) meant that I began the connection between the the ANU and IMU and through that came to know Dr Mei Ling Young. She is among the most remarkable people I have ever had the honour to know. Her intellect, drive, strategic, bold, and innovative thinking, was matched with deep humanity, compassion and hospitality. To talk with her was always enriching, encouraging and uplifting. To be with her was engaging professionally and always fun. I am glad she was a friend and am blessed by that. She will be sorely missed. May she Rest In Peace. To Mark and all the family, and to all the IMU community, Jennie and I offer our deepest condolences.
Posted by Chandramani Thuraisingham on January 21, 2021
My memories of you will forever be cherished. You left us too soon.May your kind Soul rest in peace always.
Chandramani.
Posted by Sivalingam Nalliah on January 21, 2021
To family of Mei Long
This warm ever smiling person will always be remembered for her contribution to medical education and for founding the first private medical school in Malaysia.
Our family extends our condolences. Her battle is over and she is at peace. Thank you .
Dato Dr Prof Sivalingam IMU
Posted by Dyan Fariza Mohd Nor on January 21, 2021
There's no words can describe the LEGACY you leave behind. You will be forever missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and my deepest sympathies to your family. May you rest in peace... Thank you so much
Posted by Jim McKillop on January 21, 2021
When I first met Mei Ling 20 years ago I was struck by her warmth, her passion for education, her ability to challenge constructively and her determination to see a task completed. My experiences since then have reinforced those initial impressions. She was also great fun to be with and, with Mark, wonderfully hospitable.

Mei Ling was an extraordinary person. She leaves an immense legacy which extends far beyond IMU. I count myself privileged to have known her, to have worked with her and to count her as a friend. I extend my sincere condolences to Mark and family and to my many friends at IMU.

May she rest in peace and rise in glory.
Posted by Mohd Zulkefeli Jusoh on January 21, 2021
Dear Dr Mei Ling. Thank you so much for your guidance, your advice, your charming smile whenever you talk. I will be missing the time I received messages from you asking me to translate some Japanese things. You are so friendly despite your position, honestly. So approachable and so charismatic. Will be really missing you. 
Posted by Chooi Ling Lim on January 21, 2021
Gone is an Angel from Earth, so fair
With a stunning smile and ethereal silver hair
How is it that life is so unfair
That we, your IMU family, are left to despair?

In her, a charming personality and eloquence thrived
She knew all by name and touched our lives
She was the reason why her comrades strived
For excellence but with empathy - a reason to be alive!

As chapters of her life unfold
In heartfelt tributes and stories told
As the dust settles and the tears grow cold
Your legacy, forever in our hearts we shall hold.
Posted by Winnie Chee on January 21, 2021
Dear Dr Mei Ling, thank you showing me how to be a kind, caring and graceful person. I will always remember your smile and for always making me feel that my views and opinions are important for you to hear. Will always remember all the sweet, meaningful interactions with you and your constant support for what we do in N&D in IMU. You are dearly missed. May You Rest in Peace.
Posted by Lydia Lee on January 21, 2021
"She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all."

Dr Mei Ling, we are, who we are today, because we were changed by you. We will dearly miss you.
Posted by Wai Ling Wong on January 21, 2021
Dr Mei Ling, rest in peace in the arms of your saviour.  Thank you for your warm and friendly support, friendship, greetings and hugs.  My memory is just like our draft returned by you...... with colourful circles, arrows, lines and scribbles..... that's the warm and beautiful picture you have left in my heart.  Till we meet.......
Posted by Ann Jee Tan on January 21, 2021
Dr. Mei Ling, together with an amazing team of pioneers, had an amazing incredible vision that enabled students like me to pursue medicine during those days in which there were not many options and for that, I am very grateful.

She had a unique way of connecting with people; a humble, warm and graceful aura that made me feel at awe and yet instantly at home. I am honored to have crossed path(s) with you. I am proud to graduate from IMU.
Posted by Raymond Choy on January 21, 2021
A true legacy and a significant well respected icon in Medical Education Industry in Malaysia. I am honoured and blessed to have crossed path with Mei Ling in a few occasions. One of the memorable ones was during the IMU entrepreneurship forum she was present during my keynote session and she was very supportive and encouraging in our healthtech startup and proactively offered to help to link us up with some other industry players via her network. She was such a well-liked figure in the campus and anyone who knows her will agree with me that she was one of the most genuine, caring and humble leaders I know thus far.
RIP Dr. Mei Ling Young. You will be missed
Posted by Kumar Menon on January 21, 2021
Dr Young Mei Ling played an important role in the development of higher education in the country. She helped establish the International Medical University (IMU) which provided a new and much-needed avenue for Malaysians who were interested in studying to become doctors. I knew her through my association with MAPCU - Mei Ling was once President of that association. She was an unassuming, kind and gentle person who treated everyone with great respect. Her presence and wise counsel will be deeply missed by all.
Posted by ebenezer chitra on January 21, 2021
Dr. Young will be remembered by many of us as a genuine and caring person, an inspirational leader and a visionary. She was a down to earth person with a warm smile and encouraging words for all. She would spend time getting to know everyone and we have all experienced her acts of care and kindness. Learnt a lot from her. Rest in peace Dr. Young. You will be solely missed.
Posted by Francis Wen on January 21, 2021
I have the greatest respect and admiration for our beloved Mei Ling, my ex-boss & friend. She was an inspirational leader, down to earth with no airs, and with a good heart. Her passion has always been IMU. At times she can never let go but we know her intention is for the good of the University. I will miss her dearly and pray that God will grant her perpetual peace. My deepest condolences to Mark & family. Take care.
Posted by DATO' PROFESOR DR ABU BAK... on January 21, 2021
Though I've heard of Mei Ling since the inception of IMU, I only get to know her as members of BOG, IMU over the last couple of years. I found her full of energy and she was always involved intensely in the academic discussions. Nevertheless, at the few social events that we attended, I felt she was a person full of love and kindness. Surely, you'll be missed Mei Ling, even by a new colleague like me. RIP.
Posted by Wk Yam on January 21, 2021
Your smile was always so charming and comforting. Your passion for education was like fire, your friendliness was so contagious! Dr Mei Ling, I will miss you deeply, we never say goodbye but see you again! <3
Posted by Joon Mak on January 21, 2021
Mei Ling's passing has left a vacuum difficult to fill. Her generosity, cheerfulness, and passion for excellence in IMU have greatly benefitted both colleagues and students.
You will always be in our hearts.
Rest in Peace Mei Ling.
Posted by Richard Hays on January 21, 2021
I first met Mei Ling about 20 years ago. I was immediately impressed by her intellect, passion and understanding of people. Since then we have had many enjoyable discussions. Direct, challenging but always warm and positive. A wonderfully creative person and one of the most engaging in international medical education who has left a magnificent legacy in IMU. Above all a really nice person, kind and generous and clearly devoted to her family. She will be missed. Mark and family, we share your sadness. I trust that we will meet again when international travel allows.
Posted by Eugene Ngim on January 21, 2021
I remember the first time I met Dr Mei Ling Young was in an auditorium , hearing her speech just gave me the best inspiration and encouragement.
You light up every single soul that you met and it was indeed a blessing to know you. May you rest in peace Dr Young.
Regards, Eugene from Perth, Australia.
Posted by Maggie Cheah on January 21, 2021
Dear Mei,
You are always loved and never forgotten. Close to our hearts you will stay. Forever loved and remembered.
I am blessed to have worked for Dr Mei Ling since 1994 as a pioneer staff in IMC. Her passion to make IMC the premier private medical university in Malaysia was infectious. Always caring for the wellbeing of her staff, she went out of her way to make us feel like a family in the pioneer years of IMC. Memories of those time will always live on in my heart.
Rest in peace, dear Dr Mei Ling.
Posted by Yahya Awang on January 21, 2021
Our sincere condolences to Mark. Mei Lin was a giant in medical education. We will miss her. Thank you.

Yahya & Suraiya
Posted by Hui Meng Er on January 21, 2021
It is a great honour to have known Dr Mei Ling Young since I started my career in IMU 22 years ago. Memories of your smile, words of encouragement and generous sharing of experience on numerous occasions, whether work or non-work related, are still vivid and will always remain so. Thank you for your leadership and friendship. You will be dearly missed. May your soul rest in peace.
Posted by molugulu nagashekhar on January 21, 2021
She was a role model for students and staff. Learnt a lot from her leadership. She was a dynamic lady with great values. Sincere condolences to family and friends. Om Shanthi!
Posted by Tan Keat Hoon on January 21, 2021
I am always humble by Mei Ling's kind and appreciative words of thanking me for being in IMC/IMU even though I was just a part-timer. Each time we met she would hold my hands and asked about my children and how I was doing. That feeling of being care for and appreciated kept me in IMU till today. Mei Ling, we would continue carrying your torch of caring and running the extra mile for our students. Indeed it is my great blessings to have served under your leadership and a greater honour to have known you on a personal level. You will be greatly missed. RIP.
Posted by IUH ENO on January 21, 2021
Dear Dr Mei Ling,
Your sweetest smile will always be with me forever.
You have done a lot. Just leave the rest to us.
We will meet again someday.
May you rest in peace.
Posted by Nazimah Idris on January 21, 2021
Remember our frequent chat about your beautiful pearls? During the seriousness of education and healthcare meetings, those light-hearted conversations will always be treasured. And you will always be remembered. Those smiles too.
Posted by Mimi Bell on January 21, 2021
I read with great sadness that MLY (as I used to refer to her when I was her PA in IMC) has journeyed on. She was and still is the best person I have ever worked for. I met her at a very difficult point in my life. MLY has nurtured me and shown me such magnitude of kindness. I have always remember her with gratitude. I can't stop crying as I am writing this. Your legacy will live on. My condolences to Mr Heng and Wui Leng. Love and hugs from Australia, Effie Cheng.
Posted by Snigdha Misra on January 21, 2021
You shall be ever remembered for your infectious smile and warmth that you bestow on anyone who comes across you. We shall miss your graciousness at all times. Hope you are in the Angels land , in peace. RIP
Posted by Khin Yu on January 21, 2021
The lady who inspires me, forever in my memory. Always grateful for your kind words.
Posted by Wai yew Yang on January 21, 2021
For a moment in your life, I entered your life and had the chance to ease your pain to make you a little happier and feel better. I know now, you are in the arms of the angel, fly away from here. I know you are in good hands now. You will be dearly missed, but always remembered for your kindness and passion. Rest in peace, Dr Mei Ling Young
Posted by James Walsh on January 21, 2021
Thank you Mei Ling for all your support, guidance and inspiration, we are "standing on the shoulders of giants". 
Posted by Maimunah A Hamid on January 21, 2021
Our sincere condolences to the family of Dr Young. Thank you, Dr Mei Ling for everything that you have given us, coached us, led us and persuaded us with your gentle touch, beautiful smiles and sparkling eyes. You will remain in our hearts forever and will be deeply missed. May your soul rest in peace.
Posted by Sunil Venkateswaran on January 21, 2021
Dr.Mei Ling Young was always known as a visionary leader at IMU.I have known her since a decade and she has left a everlasting impression on me. A very humble and approachable person with a sweet and loving smile at all times.Though time flies fast and life continues at it's own pace, memories of you can never be erased and forgotten.You will always remain in my memories.Rest in peace.
Posted by Nicole Chen on January 21, 2021
You always being perceived by many a visionary leader who will put relationship first then the task. There was someone asked me before, what type of leader you want to become and without hesitation, my answer was, "A leader like Dr May Ling, who always care about others". Thanks for all the great memories you have given to us. Thanks for all the great lessons you have taught us. You will always be remembered.
Posted by Philip George on January 21, 2021
I am honored and blessed to have known Dr. Mei Ling. She was truly a blessing in my life and I will miss her. A mentor and guide from the time I first joined IMU in 2000. My condolences goes out to her family and to all her friends. You will always remain in my memory.
Posted by Suresh Narayanan on January 21, 2021
This is really sad news, especially for those who loved and knew her and she has now left behind. But it is also release for her from her physical pain that she bore so cheerfully and courageously. I pray for her and for those of us who will miss her. Mei was a great friend and distance and the lack of communication never dimmed our friendship. Heartfelt condolences to Mark and Wui Leng. Anyone who lives in the hearts of others never really dies.
Posted by Leng Yan on January 21, 2021
Thank you Dr Mei Ling, for everything you have taught us, showed us, led us in your own unique way. Humble, Gentle, Unyielding, and a remarkably Persevering leader. You will be deeply missed. May your soul rest in peace.
Posted by Janice Yew on January 21, 2021
Mei Ling was the President of the Malaysian Association of Private Colleges and Universities (MAPCU) when I first met her. My last conversation with her in March 2019, she asked that we keep MAPCU's name flying. She was dedicated to the education industry, an inspiration to me personally, an amazing role model as a woman. Humble, warm and I describe her as motherly. My deepest condolences to her family. You will be missed. RIP Mei Ling.
Posted by Rozlin La on January 21, 2021
Someone as special as Dr.Mei Ling Young will never be forgotten. She will remain in our hearts forever. FOREVER REMEMBERED, FOREVER MISSED. RIP❤️
Posted by SUPATHIRATHEAVY RASIAH on January 21, 2021
Dear Dr Mei Lin Young, it was a priviledge to know you and work with you. We first met in 1997 when you were trying to find a site for the IMU clinical block (campus) in the vicinity of Hospital Tuanku Jaafar Seremban. Your genuine smile and the warmth in your eyes was always so uplifting. Thank you for the leadership and your pursuit of excellence in developing IMU. You will be missed...
Posted by Jean Sue on January 21, 2021
A great, strong yet humble and caring woman, who will be solely missed by many...
Posted by Priscilla Manymuthu on January 21, 2021
DR Mei Ling Yang was a visionary. I am a recipient of her contribution to IMU. I am always and eternally grateful. Condolences to the family.
Posted by Sue Chen on January 21, 2021
Mei Ling was one of the persons who greeted me when I joined IMU 23 years ago. Her smile was so genuine and made you feel you are one of the family members of IMU. I will sure miss you for the foot print you have left in my life. I am glad to know that now you are resting in the loving arms of our Heavenly Father.
Posted by Chin Eng Ong on January 21, 2021
RIP, Dr Mei Ling – a great mentor to generations of students, scholars, and educators in medicine and health sciences. You’ll be sorely missed and fondly remembered.
Page 2 of 3

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Wuraola Akande on February 24, 2021
Thank you
Posted by John Marley on February 7, 2021
How limited words are when we try to describe some 24 years of life-changing friendship with the wonderful Mei Ling and Mark. How so much more precious these years have been through the privilege and richness of counting them among our most special friends.

Nobody else could have built IMU to what it is today. I remember so well how she negotiated those stormy early AC meetings at IMC and the relationships that she negotiated and nurtured would have come to nothing without her unique combination of determination, warmth and hospitality beyond all human measure. At her wake, Susan described the Vice Chancellor of Strathclyde saying he had been, ‘Mei-Linged’. I too am so very grateful for having been ‘Mei-Linged’.

At Mei Ling’s wake Susan so powerfully listed the words that described Mei; how could we add to those? What we can do is express just how enormously grateful we are to have known such an amazing, and as the young would say, totally awesome person.

John and Anne
Posted by Joanna Bosco on February 3, 2021
  Aunty Mei was so central to my life. She filled my life with such warmth, joy and an abundance of love. She stepped into my life after my father Prof John Bosco died and opened a different window that allowed light to enter again. She had worked closely with him in establishing the clinical school of IMU. I still remember seeing her at the door the day my father had died. I was 17 and had never experienced grief at such magnitude before. Her smile and gentleness reminded me of my dad and I clearly remember feeling less scared. In the absence of my dad, over the many years, Aunty Mei became a tower of support and love. She gave me endless strength, advice, guidance, laughter, all with that famous twinkle in her eyes. She, Uncle Mark and Wui Leng were always present with their support and company. Their family and extended family shined with warmth. Uncle Mark would always have some of the best life insights, being an anchor in times of uncertainty, and being a champion to celebrate when joys appeared. I used to go for lunch with her lovely late father, discuss history, explore his library, realising her warmth, curiosity for knowledge and understanding of this world was also influenced by him. I was able to spend time with her mother, who was beautiful, wise, and strong- i saw her strength in Aunty Mei too. Her son, Wui Leng, who carries her wisdom, humility, kindness and contentment with him, has also been a great friend to me. His wife Zhou too reflects this genuine kindness and steadfastness.
  Aunty Mei encouraged me in my journey of being a doctor. She always saw the best in me whilst giving advice in overcoming challenges. Her passion in finding solutions, the ability to cut through the noise and rise against any setbacks whilst still exuding joy was unmatched. For an anxious young person at that time, this was something I treasured so deeply. This steady reassurance was not only evident in her but also her and Uncle Mark's family. Aunty Susan, Aunty Liap, Uncle Kour and many others also carried this similar radiance. She and Uncle Mark has always cared for my mum. Since 1999, they have been present, supporting my mum through the good and happy occasions, keeping her company and providing a shoulder to lean on in difficult times. Going for meals with Aunty Mei and Uncle Mark and Wui Leng , seeing Aunty Ah ying in their home, were comforting - these times shining like bright stars in my life. Aunty Mei was only a phone call or a conversation away despite how busy they both were.
   Aunty Mei always reminded me of leading a purpose driven life and encouraged me in my service to patients and their families. She recognised my heart beat and continued to support me in that calling. She always felt great joy when IMU students continued to carry the flag where they worked, contributing to others and the greater plan of healthcare.
Healthcare and medical education was something so integral to her. Her compassion for others found its way into the core of IMU where she gave of herself. Her mind focused on the ability of this instituition to continue to give back to Malaysia and offer opportunities for young people from around the world to work in health care. She was always enthusiastic, her eyes would light up when she spoke about the people she worked with in IMU, the various teachers, students , and the growth of the uni - the joy she felt was so palpable. Her founding values are evident in IMU , where most students who attended it still describe their years there as some of the best in their lives and a place where some of the best friendships were found.
  There is a massive gap where Aunty Mei used to stand. Waking up to a world that she is not physically in, is incredibly painful. I give thanks to God for her life. I am so grateful that I met her and her family, and was able to feel all the love and joy she carried for life. I am grateful for the time that I got to spend with her over the years and even when she was sick. I am grateful that she had the ability to keep working and doing all that she loved. Even in her illness, she continued to shine with her deep love of life. Her quiet moments, reflecting her desire to still be of service.
She was so loved and cherished by thousands of people because of her genuine compassion. She gave of herself. I keep imagining visiting her house when I return to KL and am still not prepared to not see her come down the stairs to greet me with a big hug.
She is a mother, wife, aunt, sister, sister in law, friend and colleague. She still had dreams of doing more for people and healthcare in Malaysia and her legacy of kindness lives on.
Love springs eternal, and when I think of love I think of my Aunty Mei Ling. The last few sentences she said to me was "love you too! We have a lot to talk about." I guess I will just have to pick up that conversation in heaven. I love you too Aunty Mei. You are in my heart forevermore.
her Life
A charismatic, exuberant and passionate social scientist, Dr Mei Ling Young, was one of the three founders of the International Medical College (IMC), Malaysia’s first private medical college in 1992. Together with Tan Sri Datuk Dr Kamal bin Salih and the late Dr Saidi Hashim, they had embarked on a mission – to establish an educational model that would allow more young Malaysians to pursue their ambitions to become doctors and other healthcare professionals through a globally recognised curriculum. With the help of two established professors of medical education, Ron Harden and Ian Hart, they devised a simple, brilliant but daring model and the only one of its kind in the world where all students who achieved the required standard, the outcomes, can be transferred in their clinical years to initially, five, and later, to nearly 33 renowned medical schools throughout the English-speaking world. 

Mei Ling was born in Seremban, Malaysia in 1949. She obtained her BA (Geography) from the University of Auckland in 1971 and was awarded a Senior Scholarship during her studies. She continued with her postgraduate studies at the same university and in 1974 was awarded the MA (First Class Honours) and concurrently offered a New Zealand Postgraduate Scholarship and the Australian National University (ANU) scholarships for Geography or Demography. She took up the latter offer and completed her PhD thesis after her return to Malaysia.

In 1979 she joined Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) in Penang as a lecturer in Development Studies at the School of Social Sciences. Because of a keen interest in research, in 1987, Mei Ling joined Kamal Salih as a foundation associate research fellow and helped establish the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER), the first independent, non-profit think-tank in Malaysia.

Over the years, she has penned over 70 papers on migration and employment, urbanization, industrialization and socio-economic issues and has spoken at numerous seminars and conferences at both national and international levels.

Mei Ling’s contributions and achievement is largely seen in the establishment of the International Medical College (IMC). Throughout her journey in developing IMC, she had assumed the position of Executive Director, and Registrar of the college. Holding both positions, she was able to balance and make decisions for both corporate and academic matters to ensure the smooth implementation of the college project.

During that period, education and health have always been regarded as the government’s responsibility and there was no precedence where a private medical school used government clinics and hospitals to train doctors.

Mei Ling played a pivotal role in persuading and convincing the Malaysian ministries of education and health to support the vision and mission of the college.

She also played an important role in managing two very eminent retired medical professors, Prof John Beck who was appointed as the first IMC’s Foundation Dean, and Sir Patrick Forrest who later joined as the Associate Dean. The management of the international faculty and the negotiation with some of the world’s best medical schools to be part of the unique collaborative education model - the Partner Medical School (PMS) was no easy task.

In 1998, the Asian Financial Crisis resulted in the depreciation of the ringgit and made all overseas education prohibitively expensive. This was especially true for medical education. Responding to this challenge, Mei Ling immediately negotiated for students in UK to transfer to less expensive PMS in New Zealand and Canada. More importantly, she fast tracked the establishment of an IMU Clinical School in order to provide students the opportunity to complete the entire medical programme locally. Within nine months the clinical campus adjacent to the Tuanku Ja’afar Hospital was built and the development of the clinical curriculum completed, with faculty on board. The IMC was awarded university status in 1999, becoming the International Medical University (IMU), the first private university in the country.

Expanding its plan to be an integrated healthcare provider, IMU took the bold step to provide healthcare services to the public. In 2010, IMU Healthcare was formed with the establishment of its oral healthcare centre, chiropractic centre, medical clinic and Chinese medicine centre. Mei Ling was the major driving force in this ambitious undertaking, adding the development of an IMU hospital, scheduled to open its door to the public by 2022.

She was the Advisor and Board Member of the IMU Group. Mei Ling previously held the positions of Provost (1999-2015) and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, International and Engagement (2016-17) at the International Medical University.

Actively contributing to the private education landscape, Mei Ling also held the positions of Deputy Secretary- General and later the President of the Malaysian Association of Private Colleges & Universities (MAPCU) from 2005-06 and 2015-17, respectively. During this period, private education flourished in Malaysia, making it equal to government providers. MAPCU worked closely with the government to ensure quality and to change the mind-set where instead of being competitors, private and government providers work together for the common good of the country.

Internationally recognised for her contributions in medical education, she was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Science from the University of Strathclyde in 2013 and the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa from the University of Dundee in 2014. Mei Ling was also the first Asian to be awarded the prestigious Association for the Study of Medical Education (ASME) Gold Medal in 2017.

Striving for perfection is Mei Ling’s greatest strength. She was always able, by a combination of diplomacy, gentle persuasion and tenacity to motivate her peers and subordinates to doing their very best. And it has been largely through her efforts that the university has managed to achieve and maintain its premier position in Malaysia.



Reflections of Mei - Eulogy by Dr Susan YuLing Young

Mei was born in Seremban in 1949. Mum's family were very close and she was brought up with grandparents, cousins, uncles and aunts very much part of her daily life. This gave her an incredibly strong sense of family unity, which stayed with her throughout her life. From our father she developed her love of books and learning and like him was a walking encyclopaedia. For me, who came along some 13 years later, she was my beloved older sister who I both adored and have looked up to my entire life. She has taught me so much and was akin to a second mother to me. 

To a great extent, we were both brought up as only children - such was the age gap between us. Mei left home for university in Auckland when I was just 5. By the time she had completed both her Bachelor and Master degrees and was on her PhD journey we had decamped to the UK,  missing her return to Malaysia where she took up a post as a Social Science lecturer at the University Sains Malaysia in Penang. I remember summer holidays spent with her, hanging out at the university campus whilst she worked and have many happy memories of her friends and colleagues known affectionately as 'The Penang Gang'  

In 1981, she married Mark after a courtship that had lasted some 20 years! He has been her devoted, ardent and loyal supporter throughout their lives together. Her soul mate - and she so clearly his. They built a wonderful life together - and should have had many more happy years to look forward to. Mark... the wonderful memories will always remain.  

As Mei's career progressed, her interest in development issues eventually led her to become one of the principal co-founders of IMU in 1992. At the time, Malaysia had around 3,500 doctors for the entire population. Mei wanted to give more access and opportunity to more Malaysians to be able to have a medical education beyond the government quotas and with the limitations of expensive overseas training. She guided the IMC from its infancy working tirelessly nurturing and developing the people whom she worked with to make IMU the success it is today.  Her passion and obsession was for IMU to have its own hospital, and we grieve all the more that she will not be present when this hospital that she worked so tirelessly towards, is opened in 2022. 

Most important to Mei was her son Wui Leng. From the day he was born, the bond was exceptionally strong and I have been particularly impressed in how he has looked out for her over the last 2.5 years of her illness. Taking care of all the important background work - researching treatments, arranging appointments, sourcing medicine, supplements and finally hospital equipment so her wish to return home could be fulfilled. All these things unseen and easily overlooked by others. I have watched him comfort and soothe her. Massaging and stroking her limbs as she lay helpless in bed, trying to ease her discomfort and all this whilst working too.   

When Wui Leng introduced Zhou to the family, Mei, quickly welcomed her and integrated her into the family and over a short time I know Zhou came to mean a lot to Mei. When I was allowed out of quarantine to visit her briefly in hospital, she told me how she thought Zhou was very good for Wui Leng and how kind and caring Zhou had been with her - all this during my so short visit and Mei so short of breath. In her last years she was blessed with a devoted daughter as well as a wonderful son.

So, where and how do I begin to describe my sister Mei Ling when there are so many words that would fit the bill. 

Exciting, adventurous, mischievous, far sighted, positive, charismatic, persuasive, visionary, brave, bold, inclusive - it did not matter who you were, she could make you feel special and treasured. 

We, each one of us will recognise in her all of these descriptions and yet, I could still go on. 

Loving, generous, kind, thoughtful, joyous, loyal, a true and committed partner, parent, friend, sister, mentor and workmate. I could tell you a story about Mei Ling for each of these descriptions, but we would be here all evening. So, I will just share one or two with you. 

Sadly, both our parents were not alive to witness the 3 honorary doctorates or the ASME Gold Award for Medical Education that Mei was to receive for her outstanding contribution to medical education during her career. Norman and I represented them on all these occasions. As we proudly sat at the graduation ceremony awarding her the first of her honorary doctorates at Strathclyde University Institute of Pharmacy, I was amused to hear how Prof Brian Furman described how they had been "Mei Ling-ed"! Their intension had been to accept a handful of IMC students but found themselves accepting more than 100 such was her boldness, charm and persuasive powers. I know more than one of us will recognise having been Mei Ling-ed in the past.

Her sense of adventure led her, along with family and friends to all corners of the globe and her sense of adventure did not necessarily have to involve her taking part. Wui Leng found himself scaling Sydney Harbour Bridge, I found myself sampling bats in Luang Prabang. We had to try everything. 'Must Try' was one of her memorable phrases. 

As her fantastic PA Pearly puts it ... the world is less happening without her. Heaven is going to be a busy place with her now in it and we should take comfort in that 

Above all, we must give thanks for the life of a woman I am so proud to be able to call my sister and for her life that gave so much.  To quote her own words addressed to undergraduates:

“When you are young, you feel you have everything ahead of you. I felt the same. It’s natural. One never thinks it is going to end and even in a fleeting moment, if you think it may, it seems unreal. But life is fragile. So, whatever good you can do, do not delay it. The chance may not come up again. And if you need a perspective, whatever agitates you or upsets you, when you reflect on the big issue, the impermanence of life, all these things become small and inconsequential. And in the context of your work in healthcare, please remember, it is a privilege to serve. Service and to be useful and relevant can be a legacy.”

Little did we know then that those words would be prophetic. Even in her very last days she confided to me when we were alone, that she had not given enough. I asked her how she could possibly think that, and I am still baffled. Yet I know it's also rings true. Hers was a life cut short when she still had so much more to give and had wanted to give. 

The Hengs have lost the very heart of their family. The Youngs, Blacks, Chongs, Lims and Vongs that make up Mei's history and family have lost their brightest star and IMU a leader in the truest sense of the word. We are all united in our shared grief at our loss, but we must also remember that everyone of us grieving today has brought love and meaning to Mei's life and has helped her achieve all that she has done.

Recent stories

Ladies Dinner Group

Shared by Josee Lee on January 22, 2021
Dearest Mei Ling, It was an honour knowing you and having you as our friend. We will always cherish the memories of happy times spent together at our gatherings. Our ladies'  dinner will not be the same without you. You will be dearly  missed and fondly remembered. May your soul RIP.    Foo Wang Leng 
Whatever needs to be said is covered by Susan.  I have lost a very close confidant and a traveling companion.  Diana Tan
Dearest Mei Ling, a true friend, a fantastic travel companion, a good chef and much more. Till we meet in that beautiful shore...  Bee Kee Yin
Dearest Mei Ling,  what an honour to have met you.  Will miss your gregarious personality at our dinners - certainly, would not be the same without you.  Will cherish all the wonderful times and sharing...Rest In Peace!   Josee Lee
Mei Ling  had fought a good fight. She had finished the race.  Linda Koh 


Every milestone

Shared by Emily Mah on January 21, 2021
I've had the gift of knowing Aunty Mei since the day I was born. My earliest memories of her were from my single-digit years when she would invite us kids over for poolside fun, pasta lunches and to play with the rabbits. The Christmas seasons were never dull with spreads of food, arrays of ice cream flavours and gifts of toys. I still recall the thrill when she gifted Barbie as Swan Lake to me (circa 2004). 

I could count on Aunty Mei to be there in my life's milestones or events. When I did well for exams, she would be there with a reward. When I had fallen sick with hospitalisation, she had porridge made. Even during the March lockdown, Aunty Mei made sure we were more than comfortable. 

Visiting the pet shop with her one year, I remember when she picked up a live worm in her hand and examined it. I was so startled and she looked at me as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened. Again she never stopped to amaze me and show how extraordinary she is. 

I am yet to meet someone as affable and endearing as Aunty Mei. She can carry any light-hearted conversation just as much as she can delve into a deep one. She is as well-read as she is well-loved. Her heart is generous and kind. I will always remember her and miss her greatly. 

Twenty years ago

Shared by Erwin Khoo on January 21, 2021
Her hair. The first thing I noticed about Dr Young was her white hair. It was year twenty years ago, and as a student, it didn’t take long to discover that she was the most outstanding person in the room – her charm and personality made everyone noticed her, not knowing yet who she was. And it’s just that – that we would sometimes wonder if we could ever have that level of charisma.

More than ten years later, I met her again – from a different perspective. She was determined, and she knew what she wanted from me as a faculty. Over the years, to me, she was strict, brutal but honest. Yet, she motivates. She was always the life of the discussion. She pushes you and she knew every aspect of the business.

And it isn’t fair that we couldn’t learn more from her now. And it’s not fair that our workplace will be without her passionate leadership. IMU and the network of alumni have lost a visionary and creative genius and the world has lost an amazing human being.

Dr Mei Ling, when you continue to give so many advices when you were battling sickness, I realised the importance of being there for the people around you. Thank you for being a great mentor and friend. Thank you for making the effort every single time.

We will miss you.

Love,
Erwin Khoo & Siew Houy