Founder of iconic Jonker Walk in Malacca passes away at 85

Photo: Jonker Walk Malacca/Facebook
Photo: Jonker Walk Malacca/Facebook

If you have ever been to Jonker Walk in Malacca, then it’s almost certain that you would remember the iconic statue of a male bodybuilder situated right in the middle of the market. 

The sculpture is actually a representation of Jonker Walk founder, Gan Boon Leong, who unfortunately, passed away this morning. 

The 85-year-old died at 1:30 am, according to his son, Tian Loo. 

Photo: Jonker Walk Malacca/Facebook

Tian said his father was receiving care for a weak heart at a local hospital but was released on Sunday afternoon.

“He was taken to a care centre here, where he breathed his last early this morning.”

His body has been taken to his office in Jonker Street for people to pay their last respects.

Dubbed as Malaysia’s “father of bodybuilding”, Gan was elected as the president of the Malaysian Weightlifting Federation, vice-president of the Asian Bodybuilding Federation and vice-president of the Asian Powerlifting Federation.

He was also the former Melaka Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) chairman and state executive councillor.

He was also active in boxing and taekwondo associations, especially in Melaka.

The legend leaves behind his wife, Chong Kin Yock and seven children. 

Jonker Walk is the Chinatown area in Malacca located along Jonker Street.

It begins across the Malacca River from the Stadthuys, where the street is lined with historic homes dating to the 17th century on both its left and right sides, many of which are stores selling antiques, clothing, delicacies, handicrafts, and souvenirs like keychains and shirts.

Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m, the neighbourhood transforms into a night market, with the street being closed to traffic.

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