A man with records as clear as crystal, late K. Don Buddhadasa Bastin still lives in the hearts of his peers.

The Penang-born, K. Don Buddhadasa, is a former head proofreader of the New Straits Times.

He became a proofreader for the English daily in May 1959 when it was known as the Straits Times, and remained with the newspaper for 31 years.

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Picture credit: New Straits Times

As a proofreader, he was the last gatekeeper to ensure that the copy was without blemish before it was printed.

He was briefly assigned as a cadet journalist before being appointed to serve as a proofreader at the NST Production Department again in 1977.

In April 1986, he was promoted to head proofreader and retired 4 years later after nearly 10 years of Proofreading.

However, Buddhadasa then served the publication for many years, worked as a stringer and contributed community stories to the City Extra Desk at the time, and Times Extra later.

City Extra and Times Extra were sections in the paper dedicated to society, activities and community-based stories.

Picture credit: Microsoft

Buddhadasa was very enthusiastic about the culture, cultural diversity and local traditions of Malaysians.

Some of his articles have been reproduced in several journals, including Adat Resam dan Kebudayaan Jilid 2 in 1990 by the University of Malaya Library.

Buddhadasa’s former colleague, Lakshmi Natarajan, 75, described him as a humble and hard-working person.

We were in different sections, but when we bumped into each other at work, he’s always the first to greet. He didn’t talk much, but was good at his work.

A.Manimohan, 59, another former colleague, said that Buddhadasa was in his 50s when he joined the company.

At the NST Production Department, A.Manimohan first met Buddhadasa when the latter was head proofreader.

I was very young when I was introduced to him at Balai Berita in the ’80s. If I remember correctly, Buddhadasa retired in 1990 and rejoined NST as a stringer.

Buddhadasa’s son, B. Prem, described his father as a very dedicated man who loved his job.

Father was very proud of his achievement in the NST and would always talk about his experiences as we were growing up. He received recognition from the company for his long service in 1990 at an appreciation dinner held at Park Royal Hotel. They gave him a special watch with the company logo at the dinner, which he had very carefully kept over the years.

His passing, however, was deeply sorrowful for his family at the age of 86 last week.

There is saying which goes, “There are special people in our lives who never leave us.. Even after they are gone”.

K. Don Buddhadasa Bastin will always be remembered and continue living in the hearts of his loved ones.

Source: New Straits Times