Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Grief over senseless murder of jogger

Irene Ong Ai Siam (second from left) with her husband Chin Wing San and daughters Hui Wei (left) and Hui Ying in happier times.

Family recalls victim as loving mum who gave to community

KUALA LUMPUR: SELFLESS, enthusiastic, loving, dedicated, joyful -- the tributes flowed from friends, relatives and the family of Irene Ong Ai Siam, who was murdered during a botched robbery in Bukit Gasing on Saturday.

Eldest sibling Chin Hui Ying, 21, led the tributes, saying Ong was a dedicated, selfless mother who never asked for anything in return.

Hui Ying, who studies at the RMIT University in Melbourne, said she last saw her mother in February. On Saturday, she received a video call from my father, Chin Wing San, and younger sister, Hui Wei.

"They told me to sit down and then broke the news. They said mama had been mugged and attacked by thieves," Hui Ying said.

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"I was shocked and stunned when they told me she did not make it. I told my dad and sister to give me time to absorb the news. I then made arrangements to return."

Hui Ying boarded a flight on Sunday and arrived at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 4pm. She went straight to the University Malaya Medical Centre mortuary to see her mother's body.

It is learnt that 55-year-old Wing San worked as a manager while Hui Wei, 17, is studying at SMK (P) Sri Aman in Petaling Jaya. Hui Ying is a second year advertising student.

"My mother was always active in charity and social work, even in our primary and secondary schools. Whether it was the Parent-Teacher Association or the Petaling Jaya Evangelical Free Church, my mother gave her time freely," she said at the Guan Yin crematorium in Jalan 222, Petaling Jaya.

"She was not only my mother, but my best friend as well. I could talk to her about anything and she always listened and gave me advice.

"I remember she used to read books aloud and record it on a cassette before dropping it off at the old folks home for the blind."

Hui Ying recalled her mother telling her: "It is all right to be sad as there is always a plan and purpose for everything. What we should do now is to let her legacy of love and passion live on through us."

Suzie Ong said her sister had been involved in the Kiwanis Club since 2005 and once served as president of the Bukit Bandaraya section.

"Ai Siam came up with the idea of launching the K-Kids Club in primary schools as a leadership programme to help those between the ages of 7 and 12 get an early start."

At the funeral parlour where the body lies, a steady stream of relatives and friends have turned up.

The victim's husband, Chin, looked sombre and refused to speak to reporters, claiming some reports on the incident contained inaccurate information.

Petaling Jaya police chief Assistant Commissioner Arjunaidi Mohamed said the suspects had yet to be identified and that police were studying closed-circuit television images taken from houses in the vicinity of the incident.

Daughter: This is my story, this is the truth

THE following are excerpts from Chin Hui Wei's blog.

The Ugly Truth

April 22, 2013

My mother, my hero

I remember. I remember everything. A few months ago in English class, my teacher asked us to write about a person we admired. I wrote about my mum. A month ago for my English paper, the topic I wrote about was "My Hero". I wrote about my mum. During my test, I had a writers block, so I simply wrote everything I knew about my mum: her childhood, achievements, etc. My mum is my hero. She always has been, she always will be.

April 20, 2013

Mama left early in the morning for some event her Kiwanis Club's K-Kids had planned. She came back with lunch for me and milo ais. I remember grumbling to her because I didn't want to follow my parents jungle trekking. I did anyway. We had to set up a trail for my father's running group so mama was carrying a bag with plain paper in it. I remember grumbling to my mum as we went up and down the hills of Gasing. She told me we'd be out soon. After two hours of trekking in the jungle, we finally hit the road. It was the road in Gasing leading up to the temple. We decided to walk back down to the car. As we walked down the steep road, there was nobody there. No people, no cars. Just the two of us. As we nearly reached the first house, we heard a motorbike from behind. We turned around and saw two men on a motorbike. Mama said walk further in the pavement so we did. As the motorbike drove past us, they stopped. The man from behind jumped off. My mum pushed me to the back and told me to go. The man attacked my mum straight away, without saying any words. The knife he used was just a normal kitchen knife. As my mum tried to protect herself, she turned to her left, only to be stabbed twice on the back of her right shoulder. She was struggling to escape. The attacker then proceeded to stab the back of her left shoulder. Mama tried so hard to escape. She fell on the ground and the attacker pulled her on the road and stabbed her thigh. I tried to help but the attacker thrust the knife my way so I ran back further. I couldn't do anything but scream at the top of my lungs. I screamed and screamed. The attacker hopped on the bike and rode off. I remember. I remember watching my mum's body lying on the road, all the blood oozing out. The attacker did not manage to get any of my mum's belongings. She told me to call my dad. I ran down the hill looking for help. The first house I went to, the maid (who saw everything) ran in and did not even try to help me. I ran further down and saw a car. They saw me and stopped. And I told them what happened. The driver, Mr Lai, told me to get in and we drove up to my mum. Mr Lai called the ambulance and the police while I tried to keep my mum conscious. There was blood everywhere. My mum just kept saying "save me". Her voice was so weak. My dad reached the site 10 minutes later, after running all the way. Mama kept telling us that she couldn't breathe. I prayed and prayed. She was slowly losing herself. We tried our best to keep her awake and conscious. The police arrived. We put her in the police car since the ambulance hadn't arrived. As we reached the bottom of the road, the ambulance was there, so they transferred mum into the ambulance. I remember. I remember sitting in the ambulance, holding my mum's hand and trying to talk to her but she didn't respond. I remember crying. The paramedics were doing all they could do at that point. I remember calling Eu Lim, who was at church, to pray for my mum. We reached the hospital in three minutes. They rushed my mum to the emergency ward. I wasn't allowed to enter and I was so so scared. My dad had followed Mr Lai's car and they hadn't reached the hospital yet. I had to settle my mum's registration and then talk to the police. My dad arrived. Then my friends arrived. I sat at the doorway of the hospital, praying and praying. Ten minutes later, my dad came out and told me my mum didn't make it. I dropped in the middle of the hospital floor, screaming. Everyone was looking at me, but I didn't care. A bunch of doctors came out to get me; they took me to a special room. They questioned me and they told me about how my mum was already gone when we were in the ambulance. They tried their best to revive her.

I remember. I remember coming home. My friends just sat in silence. I just sat in silence. I was covered in blood, mama's blood. I had to get myself together. I had to bathe. We broke the news to my sister through Face Time and that was really hard to do. Slowly, people started coming. It was hard seeing my aunts and uncles cry, my parent's close friends, my close friends and to know I had to keep it all together. It was really hard, telling my story to everyone. It's really hard to even close my eyes for awhile because I see it replaying in my head over and over again. Watching my mum lying in her pool of blood and not being able to do anything. Not being able to save her. People come, then people leave. All I hear is "I'm so sorry for your loss" or "my condolences". All I hear is people questioning me about what happened, since I was the sole witness. But I am so tired of telling this story over and over again. I am so tired of hearing other people tell this story. This is my story. This is the truth. Newspapers and reporters may twist it around and exaggerate it to the whole world, but this story will remain the truth forever. I am truly grateful and appreciative to everyone who came, whether it was for a short period, or a long time. Thank you to those who've brought a little bit more of hope and joy to me, even if you guys didn't try to. Thank you to those who brought food and drinks, and flowers. Thank you to everyone who called, texted, whatsapped, facebook-ed and tweeted me. I don't know how I became a trending topic overnight (#prayforhuiwei). I was mad at first, but then I realised how much my family had all of your love and support. Whether I know you or not, whether you knew my mum or not, all your kind words really helped. My mother was such an amazing and beautiful person. I remember. My mum's last words to me were "I love you so much" dying there, on the road. I watched it all. I watched it all slip out of my hands. Now, my life feels so empty. I keep thinking to myself that this is all a dream. Maybe I'd wake up and be able to avoid this from happening. Maybe if someone pinched me, I'd wake up from this nightmare. But this is reality, and I have to face the facts. I have to face the fact that I'm alone now. I have to face the sounds of crying and wailing from the other room. I have to face the facts that I'm going to grow up motherless, clueless and confused. It won't be easy, but I will get through this. Ma, I love you so much. And I am so sorry I had to watch you die. I am so sorry I couldn't save you. But you're with God now. Ma, you're such a great person. Beautiful inside and out.

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