Professor Chin devoted his entire life to seed conservation, and to teaching and guiding others through his expertise. He is known as the father of cryopreservation which is crucial for the conservation of many tropical crop and tree seeds that do not tolerate drying and cannot, therefore, be conserved in conventional genebanks.
Among many other positions of trust, he was a Member of the Committee of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. He worked his entire career of almost 60 years at the Malaysian agricultural university, Universiti Putra Malaysia, and taught around 10,000 students over the years. Other than being an outstanding scientist and academician, Professor Chin was also an avid poet and photographer who drew his inspiration from the creations of nature and taught others to see the minute beauty of flowers and seeds. He was still writing and sharing his wisdom even as his health deteriorated.
Reflecting on his life, Professor Chin recently said:
“I wish to thank Bioversity International for hosting me for over 30 years as a voluntary worker, a board member and as an honorary fellow for work in conservation of plant genetic resources that will be made useful throughout the world. I hope Bioversity International will continue the good work to serve the world. I hope you will continue the work on my behalf. Good luck to you all. Life is like making tea. Boil your ego, evaporate your worries, dilute your sorrows, filter your mistakes and get a taste of happiness.”