MY MOTHER USED TO TELL ME NOT TO TRAVEL SO MUCH IN CASE ANYTHING SHOULD HAPPEN TO HER OR MY DAD BUT I BRUSHED HER ADVICE ASIDE AS I WAS SURE NOTHING UNTOWARD WOULD HAPPEN WHEN I WAS OVERSEAS.
How right Mum was.
I arrived in Bangkok, City of Angels, on Sunday afternoon 31 July 2016 and checked into room 1828 at Shangri-La Bangkok as guest of TAT (Tourism Authority of Thailand). Fifteen hours later i would learn of my father's demise!
How things change in the blink of an eye.
I woke early on 6.30 am on 1 August 2016 to shower and breakfast as TAT had arranged for a full day's tour. I received a frantic SMS from my cousin saying 'Urgent, your dad cannot wake up'.
It was as if my lower part of my body had suddenly turned to stone.
I phoned Mum and I insisted Dad was sleeping soundly and so deeply he just needed to be soundly aroused to awake. Mum wept and agreed but said "His hands are already cold..."
Mum and my cousins who lived nextdoor in Kota Baru, Kelantan had called the doctors and while waiting, I rushed to shower as obviously I had to fly back. Then came the dreaded SMS from my cousin, "Come home, your father has just passed away".
Just as well the double glazed windows of Shangri-La Bangkok were sound-proof as I screamed and collapsed on the floor shedding tears and trembling. Dad gad died?
I always assumed, since he was always healthy and in relative good shape for his age, that he would live forever.The thought of him dying never occurred or of it did, never lasted longer than a nano-second.
I went down to lobby as all journalists were assembling for various tours. I told the TAT officers in charge and asked them to help me book the first flight home to Kuala Lumpur then Kota Baru regardless of price as I would pay anything.
TAT Tourism Authority of Thailand rose to the occasion and showed their mettle. After proffering condolences, they rang Thai Airways and even Johan Chan, director of sales of Shangri-La Bangkok used his handphone to check flights for MAS and AirAsia. They brushed aside my offer to pay and said I was their guest and this was the least they could do in my hour of distress.
I staggered to my room and contacted Richard Lim, marketing manager of TAT Malaysia who was in Johor Baru for a roadshow and he promptly booked the first available flight at 1.10 pm from Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur arriving 4.20 pm and connecting flight to Kota Baru at 5.45pm. The interval was just over an hour but I knew Buddha would allow me to catch this flight as the next flight was 9.50pm which would be too late to attend the monks' prayers for Dad scheduled at 8 pm.
But TAT was taking no chances and also booked the 9.45 pm flight just in case.
A limousine was summoned to send me to Suvanabhumi airport and I was accompanied by Ranit Tokrisna the international PR officer from TAT to make sure I was alright and made it onboard.
So thank you Richard Lim, Somboon and Aman Mudadam of TAT Malaysia and TAT Bangkok.
Menam Chao Phraya at dawn---a view to die for and so sad my dad did die as I was looking out of the window
I DID NOT HAVE TIME TO ENJOY THE FRUITS
VIEW FOR A KILL FROM ROOM 1828 AT SHANGRI-LA BANGKOK
AS ONLY CHILD, I HAD TO SLEEP IN THE FUNERAL PARLOUR AT KELANTAN BUDDHIST ASSOCIATION NEXT TO MY FATHER'S COFFIN FOR 2 NIGHTS UNTIL THE CREMATION
AH SIANG PERFORMING THE LAST RITES IN WEDNESDAY 3 AUGUST 2016
I WAS CLUTCHING MY CHEST
TUASOH AND LUCY KOE HOLDING MY MOTHER
DAD LIVED TO A RIPE AGE OF 95 SO THE FLOWERS WERE ORANGE AND BRIGHT AND NOT WHITE
KEE NAI SENG'S SON AND WIFE PAYING LAST RESPECTS BEFORE CREMATION
CLOSING OF COFFIN! THIS IS SO FINAL! SO UTTERLY PAINFUL AS I COULD NEVER SEE MY FATHER'S PERFECT FACE AGAIN!
DATO KEE HUA CHEE AND HIS COUSINS KEE HUA HEANG, KEE HUA BOON AND KEE HUI PENG
DATO KEE HUA CHEE AND MUM ANG SIEW SOH PRAYING TO KEE NAI SENG, THE GREATEST DAD EVER!
PAPA YOU ARE THE BEST AND I COULD NEVER ASK FOR A BETTER DAD
IF I CAN CHOOSE, IN ANOTHER THOUSAND REINCARNATIONS OVER COUNTLESS KALPAS, I STILL WANT TO BE BORN AS SON OF KEE NAI SENG
PAPA'S FAVORITE FOOD
FINAL OFFERINGS. MUM HAD TO STAND AS SHE COULD NOT SQUAT DUE TO BAD BACK
MY 3 COUSINS
KEE HUA BOON, KEE HUA HEANG AND KEE HUI PENG
PICTURE OF ABJECT SORROW OF A GRIEVING SON
KEE HUA LIANG
MY FATHER AT 95 OUTLIVED ALL HIS CONTEMPORARIES
COFFIN HAS BEEN SEALED SO KEE NAI SENG'S SON KEE HUA CHEE CAN ONLY TOUCH FORLORNLY
MY FATHER'S JOURNEY FROM KELANTAN BUDDHIST ASSOCIATION BUILDING IN KOTA BARU TO CREMATORIUM
ANG SIEW SOH AND HER SON DATO KEE HUA CHEE FOLLOWING THE HEARSE FOR A SHORT WHILE
KEE HUA BOON TOUCHES COFFIN OF HIS UNCLE
KEE NAI SENG'S SON AND WIFE TOUCHING HIS 'GRAND MANSION' (TUA CHOO)
DRAINED OF LIFE
MY FATHER IS INSIDE!
WE ARRIVED AT CREMATORIUM IN KAMPUNG DALAM
THE FURNACE!!! SO SCARY
MY MUM AND I ARE NOW LEFT
THE 2 MONKS CHANTING TO EASE MY FATHER'S PASSAGE INTO NIRVANA OR REBIRTH
I COULD NOT SEE MY FATHER'S FACE ANYMORE AS COFFIN WAS SEALED
SAD OCCASION FOR KEE CLAN
MUM SO FORLORN AND LONELY NOW AFTER BEING MARRIED TO SAME MAN FOR 66 YEARS AND NOT ONE NIGHT DID THEY SPEND APART FROM EACH OTHER!
ME PRAYING TO BUDDHA TO RECEIVE MY FATHER KEE NAI SENG IN HEAVEN OR JOIN THE BUDDHAHEAD
ALL FOR ONE AND ONE FOR ALL
ALL MEN ARE BROTHERS AND ALL WOMEN ARE SISTERS
DATO KEE HUA CHEE GIVING ALMS TO MONKS
DAZED AND CONFUSED
UNTIL THIS DAY I DUNNO HOW I WENT THROUGH THE RITUALS AS EVERYTHING SEEMED SO UNREAL AND SURREAL
MUM MARRIED PAPA WHEN SHE WAS 20 AND HAS BEEN MARRIED FOR 66 LONG YEARS!
NOT 1 DAY WERE THEY SEPARATED! THEY LED SIMPLE LIVES AND IF THEY TRAVELLED, BOTH WENT TOGETHER
I WAS HEART BROKEN BUT I KNOW MUM FELT IT A MILLION TIMES MORE AS SHE HAS LOST HER HUSBAND AND SOUL MATE
BUT WE WILL BE REUNITED
IT'S ONLY A MATTER OF TIME BEFORE WE ARE REUNITED IN HEAVEN UNDER BUDDHA'S BENEVOLENT GAZE!
AS GINTELL GROUP WAS THE FIRST TO SEND WREATH, WE BROUGHT THIS ONE WITH US TO CREMATORIUM IN KAMPUNG DALAM
SILVER CURRENCY FOR DAD
LITTLE TOUCHES MEANT A LOT NOW
I SCREAMED WITH ANGUISH WHEN I SAW THIS DREADFUL SIGHT!
LAST LOOK AT PAPA IN HUMAN FORM
PAPA IN HUMAN FORM
NOW HE WILL BE BURNED
MUM STEADYING HERSELF FOR MY SAKE
SWITCHING ON FURNACE TO BURN MY PAPA'S BODY INTO ASHES AND BONE FRAGMENTS
FAREWELL PAPA, WE WILL MEET AGAIN
CREMATORIUM IN KAMPUNG DALAM, KELANTAN
EVEN TEMPLE DOGS CAME TO PAY RESPECTS TO MY FATHER
WE LOVE DOGS
DOGS LOVE US
PAPA BOOKED A SMALL SHRINE IN DOUBLE DRAGON TEMPLE IN BACHOK
LOVE YOU ENDLESSLY
KEE NAI SENG SON FELT AS IF HIS HEART IS INSIDE THE FURNACE TOO
FIRST WREATH CAME FROM ALY WONG FROM GINTELL GROUP OF COMPANIES
MY FATHER BEING CREMATED
FROM ASHES TO ASHES
CYCLE OF LIFE---PAPA PRACTICALLY COMPLETED HIS 8TH CYCLE OF 12-YEAR PERIOD PER CYCLE
WREATH FROM TAT TOURISM AUTHORITY OF THAILAND
TIME STOOD STILL FOR ME AND MUM ON 31 JULY 2016 AS PAPA PASSED AWAY AT DAWN ON 1 AUGUST 2016 AND WE DID NOT HAVE TIME TO TEAR AWAY THIS PAGE