Language expert finishes studies in Indonesia

Dr Liaw Yock Fang, an internationally known expert in Malay/Indonesian language and classical literature, was in the news in the last week of 1965 when he was interviewed after returning here upon completing his studies in Indonesia.

The former Nanyang University student had gone to the University of Indonesia in 1960 to study Indonesian language and literature.

"Confrontation? It never bothered me when I was in Indonesia," Dr Liaw, then 29, told The Straits Times, referring to the hostilities between Indonesia and Malaysia.

Dr Liaw Yock Fang

"They treated me so well, I've put on weight during my stay there.

"And for all the reported hatred for Malaysia and Singapore, never once did they force me to

attend university indoctrination classes - though for Indonesian students these were absolutely compulsory," he added. Dr Liaw, who was awarded a doctorate by the Netherlands' Leiden University in the 1970s, taught at Nanyang University and later at the National University of Singapore.

He is also known for writing a series of popular handbooks on learning Malay and Indonesian, said an entry on him in South-east Asian Personalities Of Chinese Descent.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 27, 2015, with the headline 'Language expert finishes studies in Indonesia'. Print Edition | Subscribe