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 Amalraj Fabian on January 21, 2021
Dr. Mei will be missed on every occasion at IMU. An impressive leader and a passionate person with her profession. You will always be remembered and spoken for generations to come.
Posted by Diyana Kamarulzaman on January 21, 2021
I will bring along her spirit through out the journey in this life. A very humble and warm person. Rest in peace Dr Young. You will be missed.
Posted by Lily Wong on January 21, 2021
Even though our paths crossed briefly, had the opportunity in exchanging some light conversations with you. You shared your passion and values, as well as your expectations of excellence. Forever with your infectious smile and a humble personality, one would never imagine you are our co-founder when you dropped by in education fairs or open days. You would approach unexpected visitors and speak to them. How I miss having you around our fairs! It's so different without you. Is a very sad day when heard that you had passed on. And those who are closer to you will feel your loss even more. But knowing that you are now in a better place, it comforts me. You have left a piece of you in my heart, and I'm honoured to have known you. God bless your soul, Dr Mei Ling. ❤️
Posted by Peter Diakow on January 20, 2021
My sincere condolences to the family of Dr. Young. She was an inspiration and role model for all of us at IMU. She was a kind and generous soul that always made me want to do better... Вічная Пам'ят.
Posted by Hla Yee Yee on January 21, 2021
I met Mei when she, the-then Dean of the International Medical College (IMC) David Riches and others interviewed me in April 1999, just 7 years after the founding of IMC, a shared dream-come-true of Datuk Kamal Sallih, Dr. Saidi Hashim, Mei, and Prof.Ong Kok Hai.That was the beginning of a long and enriching association with Mei, the Provost of IMU (to which IMC was upgraded after the Clinical School was founded in Seremban ).

Whilst Datuk provided the Vision, Mei was the driving force behind IMU's success ,involving herself in all its affairs, ensuring perfection in everything, making everybody feel important & indispensable, always showing she cared ( even the many "unknown" participants who came for IMU's many events & looked isolated!) . Both my husband and I worked with IMU, I for 16 years and my husband (Dr.Htin Aung) for seven. Our son went through the IMU's credit transfer programme, graduating from the National University of Ireland, Galway , after which he quickly progressed to MRCS and MCh in Orthopaedics; thanks to the firm grounding IMU had provided. Incidentally, he was the first of employees' children to benefit from a discounted tuition fee.

Mei was a cheerful , vibrant person & charismatic leader who walked the talk and lived the "IMU Cares" motto. She will always be remembered by the many who worked with her & the thousands of IMU graduates ( medical, Pharmacy, Nursing, Chiropractic, Psychology, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Biomedical Sciences, Nutrition & Dietetics, etc ) .

"To live on in heats we leave behind is not to die"
Posted by A Sasikala Devi Amirthali... on January 21, 2021
Will always remember you for your beautiful smile and "there must be a way to get it done" attitude and support and encouragement that you gave. IMU was so much part of you. Rest in peace. You will always be remembered fondly.
Posted by Wilkinson Tan on January 21, 2021
Dr Mei Ling has touched all of us in more saya tuan we can inagine. Get leadership has allowed us to thrive as students and continue to grow when we start our careers. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Posted by Jimbo Jimbo on January 21, 2021
Dear Mei Ling,

Thank you for welcoming me into the IMU family 2 decades ago when you called to offer me a position in IMU. Thank you for seeing potential in people like me and others, even when we are too blinded to realize for ourselves. Your phone call changed not just my life, but all who are dependent on me, for the better.
Thank you for standing by me, even when no one else would, when I wanted to acquire higher skills and qualifications. The many "don't give up"s you told me helped me see there is always a solution to every problem. The many times you asked "how can we do this better?" has helped me think outside the box.
Thank you for the mentoring, the gentle chiding, the always welcoming smile, and the warm feeling you give to everyone you meet. You made every person feel appreciated and valued. If I could be just a fraction of who you are, I would count myself greatly blessed.
I am very grateful for all you have been and done for us. You will be greatly missed. You will always have a special place in our hearts.
Posted by Tony Tong on January 21, 2021
I'm so sad to see the obituary in the newspaper today.
I was a Standardize Patients and my daughter was previously a student in IMU.
Deepest Condolences to your family . Rest In Peace.
Done with the donation to Hospice Society in memory of Dr Mei Ling Young
Posted by Erwin Khoo on January 21, 2021
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.

Posted by Sushela Somanath on January 21, 2021
Gone too soon Mei. You will be forever in our hearts. You were an inspiration to us all.You have fought the good fight. Thank you for all what you have done for us. Rest in eternal peace.
Posted by Srinivasan R on January 20, 2021
I am very sad to hear the news. My sincere condolences to Dr. Mei Ling Young family. She is a very vibrant, inspirational and charismatic leader.It’s very difficult to believe that she is no more. She will live on in our memories forever. May her soul rest in peace.
Posted by HM Goh on January 21, 2021
We are going to miss her dearly.

I was saddened by the news of her passing this morning. She had put up a courageous fight with cancer for more than a year. Even though she was on chemotherapy, we maintained communications via instant messenging. I regretted that I didn't manage to find a suitable opportunity to visit her during Pandemic Lockdown because she was just so clinically vulnerable.

Mei Ling has been a very important source of inspiration and support for me during the formative years of my medical career. I knew her since 1993 as a freshy of the pioneer batch of medical students. She co-founded IMU and served as the Provost/Deputy Vice Chancellor and some other leadership positions of the university. She was the pioneer of private medical education in the 90s. She was instrumental in developing IMU's global partner universities network and I admired her skills and ability to engage and charm the deans from UK, Ireland and North America. She made me realised the value of EQ.
She was charismatic, energetic and very engaging with students. She was a motherly figure in the campus. Always interested to know how we were doing in our career and life (eg work, marriage, kids etc) even decades after graduation.

She constantly encouraged me to take bold moves in my career and to venture out of my "comfort zone". She always know how to galvanise us to try out new stuff. She supported our effort to publish IMU's first Convocation Magazine. I remembered she was rooting for our publication proposal in front of Prof John Beck and Sir Patrick Forrest. 
She prompted me and a few alumnus to establish the IMU Alumni Association and convinced me to serve as its first President.
She emboldened me to explore alternative career path in Clinical Informatics and Entrepreneurship.
She always know how to channel her energy and passion by catalysing new ideas we have.
I hope she knew how profound she had impacted us.

I am forever grateful and indebted to her nurturing love for us. She was one of the reason why I still maintain intimate connections with the Alma Mater after over 2 decades.

Your legacy will live on in us.
RIP Mei Ling.

Hsien Ming (M1/93)
Posted by Feng Yih Chai on January 21, 2021
I am forever grateful for all your guidance, support and cheers, Dr. Mei Ling Young. You will be missed dearly. Rest in peace.
Posted by Chris Stephens on January 20, 2021
Mei Ling was a kind,generous, hospitable and inspirational friend and colleague. We learnt so much from her especially Malaysian food! She is missed. Mark and Wui Leng are in our thoughts.
Love
Chris and Jill Stephens
Posted by Esha DasGupta on January 21, 2021
I met her in 1994 during my interview along with Sir Patrick Forrest,and Prof Beck.She told me " Welcome to IMC.It is always a pleasure to be in the group of pioneers." She was so charismatic,full of positivity,and vibrant personality that affect anyone positively.She was also a very passionate, receptive and understanding individual.She will be missed by all of us very very badly.
She will forever be a part of IMU.
May her soul rest in peace.
My heartfelt condolence to her family.
Posted by Jag Sidhu on January 20, 2021
In 1994 I met Mei Ling during my interview with Sir Patrick Forest and Prof John Bligh. She so kind to give me a place to stay at the apartment at the IMC campus on Jalan Selangor as she appreciated the juggling role of one being a mother and a career woman. I remember meeting her dad at her home and he spent sometime showing me the gardening that she was very fond of as a hobby. Years later she gave me my first German Shepherd puppy Beauty. A few months ago she wrote to me to ask how were my children doing. I just wished she was able to see the opening of our new IMU hospital ... Rest in peace dear Mei Ling
Posted by Wan Saizatul on January 20, 2021
Truly sad to hear this. My deepest condolences.She was an inspiration to many indeed. Memories of her life will never leave me. Dr Mei Ling Young, you'd never be forgotten, rest in peace.
Posted by Raymond Choy on January 20, 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 Siew Kim Prof on January 20, 2021
You are the heart and soul of IMU. You demand excellence and IMU is now one of Malaysia’s top universities thanks to you. We will miss your presence but you will always be in our thoughts and action. The legacy you leave behind will never be forgotten.
Posted by Mun Hoe Wong on January 20, 2021
Thank you Mei Ling for giving many of us the opportunity to pursue our dreams and passions in the field of medicine...You have seen me grown from a student all the way to where I am now. Rest in peace. You will be missed
Posted by Verna Lee on January 20, 2021
You may be gone but you will be in our hearts forever...
Posted by Gandhi Solayar on January 20, 2021
A wonderful, dedicated and passionate woman, Mei Ling will always be close to all of us. She remembered me as a student and was very supportive of me working in IMU. She was always for the IMU Alumni, working tirelessly with the committee and university in bringing us closer together. It was an honour learning from you dear lady and you will be sorely missed. It was an honour to have known you. Rest in Peace Dr. Young.
Posted by Arun Kumar on January 20, 2021
Gone too soon.. Dr Young. You will be remembered for all the good deeds, your smile, Inspiring nature and your charming personality. We will miss you for sure. RIP
Posted by Nilesh Kumar on January 20, 2021
My memories of Dr Mei Ling Young is since 2004. When I entered IMU not everything was so smooth. Then and in subsequent years when Malaysia was going through economic recession every single day she was with us. Students interest was always at the core of her heart. I do not find words to express as tears fill my eyes. May be because her soul is still praying for all of us even if she is not physically with us. Please sleep well and take rest, we all are fine.
Posted by Dr Paul Chan on January 20, 2021
I remembered her as a humble and kind hearted lady. i was in a meeting in IMU, i walked pass her near her office entrance. She saw me holding up a back pack that was worn out with holes here and there. She saw that backpack, and mentioned "how can you still be using that?, wait here." 10 minutes later, she came out with an IMU backpack. a unique orange colour bag. This was 3 years ago. I'm still using the bag now. Every time i pick up that bag, i will remember her.
Posted by Azura Jamalludin on January 20, 2021
There have been many times when your "imperious" ways made me frown and complain but after the dust settles, I've always admired your persistence to make me learned something meaningful for my career development . Thank you for everything. RIP Dr. Young. You will be missed.❤
Posted by Kai-Lit Phua on January 20, 2021
Rest In Peace. Gone but not forgotten.
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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