Han Chin Pet Soo is open! Book now at www.ipohworld.org/reservation
Han Chin Pet Soo is open! Book now at www.ipohworld.org/reservation

May 2018

Perak Academy Talk

By |2018-05-19T11:21:55+08:00May 19th, 2018|Categories: Events|Tags: |



In the best of philosophical tradition, the speaker is not an academic philosopher, and he is not in academia.  He is, however, a philosopher in the sense that he is extremely curious and inquisitive about the vast diversity of human nature, the concern and search for a meaningful and purposeful life, and the varieties of thoughts and experiences and his own reflections on these matters. 

 By profession, he is a lawyer, but in his legal practice he brings with it a certain dose of philosophy.  “I have often been asked how my studies in philosophy have helped me in the practical application of the law and the cut-and thrust world of corporate business. I do not cut or thrust; I practice law with a heavy dose of philosophical persuasion, compassion and detachment.”

 In this sense, the speaker is a philosopher of the workplace, of the marketplace (the agora) and of the community; in this way, the speaker is engaged in public conversations.  It was in the marketplace – the Agora of Athens – that Western philosophy was birthed, whose nurse-maid was Socrates.

 One of the great hallmarks of philosophy is that it is less mindful and respectful of traditions as opposed to Law.  Every philosopher seeks new grounds of ideas of the mind in the mental universe and called it a system, a philosophy, school of thought or “baptized” it with an ‘ism,’ which is a code for “territory” – a territory of the mind.  Therefore, a philosopher is one who has a sense of adventure, exploration and discovery, a miner of thoughts and ideas.  He goes out to “conquer ideas” and stake it an ‘ism’ and then he defends this new found “mental territory” by arguing about it, usually with his fellow philosophers.

 In this lecture, in the speaker’s attempt to answer the questions:  Why do philosophers argue? How do philosophers argue?  What philosophers argue about? and “What is the purpose of philosophy?  The speaker hopes to paint the broad outlines and evoke flashes of what philosophy is, who is a philosopher and what kind of a “creature” we call “philosopher” through examining certain key divisional aspects of philosophy and philosophers in the history of Western philosophy.

 In the history of philosophy, many binary distinctions have been applied: nominalist/realist; empiricist/rationalist/transcendentalist; materialist/idealist.  There are, of course, giants in philosophy such as Kant who straddled the divisions, but these divisions have not been removed.  One of the dualisms which runs deeply through philosophy’s history is that between a view of philosophy which sees its task is to understand the use of concepts and the meaning of words, and a view of philosophy which sees its task is to understand the world and the good life. 

 The speaker contends that it is the business of philosophers to argue, debate and to tease or force out the fundamental truths that Nature continues to guard jealously and to engage in public conversations.   Philosophers like to poke their noses not just at people but also at Nature.

June 2013

Book Launch – “My Days in the Sun: A Memoir”

By |2013-06-13T11:31:00+08:00June 13th, 2013|Categories: Books, Events, Memories, People|Tags: , , , |

My Days in the Sun Invitation

Perak Academy and Areca Books invite you to keep 5th July free, for there will be a book launch at No. 41, Lapangan Symphony Business Park.

My Days in the Sun – A Memoir will be launched by Tan Sri Prof Khoo Kay Kim; plus, those of you who purchase this book will have a chance to meet the author too!

Here’s a brief synopsis of what the author – Mark Yoi Sun Soo – presents in his book:

In ‘My Days in the Sun’, a distinguished radiologist presents a candid self-portrait of his first 40 years. Mark Y.S. Soo was born in 1933 into a Cantonese family who divided their time between business interests in Malaya and Hong Kong. As a precocious child, Mark was an eyewitness to the Battle of Kampar, the Japanese occupation of Malaya and the post-war trauma of the late 1940s.

A graduate of Hong Kong University in 1957 and the Lysholm Department of Radiology in London in 1967, Mark Soo reflects on his intimate acquaintance with mentoring surgeons, eminent professors and pioneering radiologists, and offers privileged glimpses of the work practices in prestigious teaching hospitals in four different countries.

The humanistic philosophy of the Chinese sage Mencius, memorized at a young age under his grandmother’s watchful eye, made him a compulsively ethical practitioner in a moneyed profession. Ever the keen observer of life’s subtleties, Mark recounts many of the lessons he learnt, both moral and practical, during his time as a young medic in the Colony’s hospitals, a struggling general practitioner in Ipoh, a mature student of radiology in London and the first Asian Head of Radiology at University Hospital, Kuala Lumpur, just before the riots of 13 May 1969.

Married with four children, Mark moved to Australia in 1971, where he still resides. From his traditional Chinese upbringing to his embrace of modern life as an immigrant of Australia, Mark Soo’s memoir conveys the sense and sensibility of an overseas Chinese who has lived in interesting times and memorable places.

In case you are unfamiliar with the area, here’s a map:

Location Map

Those interested, kindly RSVP before Friday 28th June 2013. Reservations can be made through –

Mrs Lee, of Perak Academy (605-5478949 / 016-5518172) contact@perakacademy.com [if you’re in Perak]


Ms Kooi Nee, of Areca Books (604-2610307) arecabooks@gmail.com [if you’re in Penang]

November 2009

Ipoh – When Tin was King!

By |2010-01-16T05:04:34+08:00November 19th, 2009|Categories: Books, ipoh|Tags: , , |

“Tin gave Ipoh more millionaires than any other town; it gave her confidence and vibrancy; it gave her a soul”

As the author puts it, this book tells the story of “Ipoh’s Golden Age” which present-day folk “take pride in”. Launched yesterday, this book is written by Dr Ho Tak Ming featuring a foreword by Emeritus Professor Dr Wang Gungwu. ‘Ipoh When Tin was King’ is published by the Perak Academy. It is available at the Perak Academy office and leading bookstores. The official price is RM120, but I believe a discount of RM20 is available if you buy at the office.

I am advised by Dr Ho that overseas customers, or those who cannot obtain the book (ISBN 978-983-42500-2-7)  in their local bookshops, should write to his agent Mr. Steven Yong of Horizon Books email address steven_horizon@wismaytt.com and he will make arrangements to send the book to you.

March 2009

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