A Pressman’s Progress


Leaving one place does not mean that you have a definite destination in mind. For Tan Thean Peng, the conditions of a journalistic career saw him working for a long line of employers throughout the region, from Sydney to Bangkok to Hong Kong. Finally, he ends up owning his own custom publishing firm, and thinking that his old hometown, Penang, is not a bad option for a retiree.

THE STRAITS ECHO WAS Tan Thean Peng’s first employer. He joined as a reporter in 1978 after finishing his A-levels at St Xavier’s Institution only to discover that he could not gain entrance into local universities. The New Economic Policy (NEP) quota system was already in place.

But soon, working in Penang felt too constraining. And so this Pulau Tikus native left for Kuala Lumpur to continue as a sub-editor with The Star. He was 20 years old.

But after five years working as a sub-editor in the Klang Valley, Kuala Lumpur began to feel limiting as well. A holiday trip to Hong Kong got him dreaming about working there.

To read the rest of the article and to access our e-Archive, subscribe to us for RM150 a year.

Related Articles

Nov 2015

Marina Mahathir: Malaysia is my colour movie

Editor Ooi Kee Beng chats with Marina Mahathir about what it means to be Malaysian today.

Jun 2014

From cancer survivors to social champions: A relay for hope

Two cancer survivors turned their lifechanging ordeal into a beacon of hope for others.

Feb 2015

Here, there and everywhere with Thomas Powell

Is there really such a thing as a "starving artist"? Penang-based English artist Thomas Powell doesn't believe so. It just takes a lot of determination, and ideas, of course.

Jun 2016

Mahathir: “People Must Be Able to Hold Their Heads Up.”

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad talks about what motivates him in an exclusive interview.