KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 14 – Former executive editor of the New Straits Times (NST), KP Waran, died early today after a nine-month battle with cancer.
The 60-year-old’s passing was announced by his wife, Sheila Singam, in a Facebook post published at 7.50am.
Waran, who had over 25 years of experience in the news and media industry, joined the NSTP in 1982 as a reporter, and rose up the ranks to become chief editor of the New Straits Times (NST).
He held the post of NST executive editor until 2008.
Waran won the Malaysian Journalist of the Year award twice; and was a correspondent in numerous war zones, including Cambodia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Sri Lanka and East Timor.
During his colourful career as a journalist, he wrote enlightening articles and commentaries on the local political scene, foreign affairs and a wide range of issues.
He had columns dedicated to the diplomatic scene as well as to individuals who have had a positive impact on Malaysian society.
Meanwhile, tributes by ex-colleagues and friends poured in on social media for the media veteran.
On Facebook, The Malaysian Insight editor and chief executive Jahabar Sadiq said Waran was always larger than life.
“A born raconteur and a fine gentleman easy with the smile and easier with the laugh.
“There were as many lessons in journalism as there was about life from the man with the shaggy beard and boisterous banter and laughter booming across the newsroom.”
Former NST journalist Hasnah Abd Rahman said Waran’s death was a big loss to journalism, and that he was a caring and compassionate person.
“While in NST, I was pregnant with my second son… and I met with an accident during my fifth month of pregnancy.
“While I was in the maternity ward, I heard a loud voice telling the nurse, ‘I don’t care, I have to see if she is alright’.
“And so walked in my colleague KP Waran. Rest in peace, my dear friend. Journalism has lost a gem.”
Another former NST journalist, Dennis Wong, described Waran as a no-nonsense news editor who settled for nothing but the best.
“He was tough as nails when it comes to editing your copy but fun to hang around after work.
“His constructive insults made most of us rookies better journalists as time went by.”
Fellow former NST journalist Roziana Hamsawi echoed the sentiments: “Very very sad to hear of your passing, KP Waran. You were my favourite editor at the news desk. You made my years there bearable. Always kind to the stories I wrote. Always cool about everything.
“Loved working with you! Rest in peace, boss!” © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd