Monday, November 29, 2010

Funeral service and burial of an old friend's father

Dr Lam Shih Kwong is the old friend from early secondary school that many of us who know him from school days may regard him more like a close family member than just a friend. It is probably due to his always warm and sincere personality that he has maintained all these years to the present. The fact that his parents were from Penang and mine were too and that his father and my second brother both once worked in Telecoms together made me feel that closer kinship with him.

After school, he became a busy doctor while I was busy with a large family, church work and running a business. Time and distance did keep us apart for many years and we met only on occasions of our class reunions. Sadly it was the ocassion of the passing away of his father, on 25 Nov 2010, that brought us together again this time round which was a time of deep reflection for me. Lam York Kee, the name of his father, still rang very clearly in my mind after all these years. I knew his father from the days in St. John's school when I visited his home and in later years could speak to 'Uncle Lam' as we would call him, on the phone whenever I tried to locate where the busy doctor was to invite him for some kind of old boys gathering.

Uncle Lam was 88 when he passed on, exactly the same age as my Father when he passed away the same month of November too last year. I did a live broadcast of the funeral service and the burial at the Nirvana Memorial Park in Semenyih for the classmates who could not be present on this Monday morning which can be viewed below :

Here are some photos of the well organized funeral for family members and friends present :

A nice lunch was served to end the pleasant day that started at the St Francis Xavier Church in Petaling Jaya to end here at the Nirvana Christian Memorial Park in Semenyih.

More photos can be viewed by clicking here

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Happy Story of our Kak Tun

While we paid tribute to our Lady Diana in Ipoh recently who was always there to help mom with a new baby that came to our family for the first month, we now turn to the Iron Lady who came as a domestic helper from Indonesia right after Ray, our sixth child, was born. She came as a timely aid to help mom with not just being a nanny of our youngest Ray but really became like the big sister of all the children and hence her appropriate name, Kakak Tun or Kak Tun in short! See the pictorial story below that has a happy ending :

She came after Ray was born as seen above in the arms of Lady Diana.
Kak Tun found a way to keep Ray happy while she went about doing house chores.
Everywhere she went, Ray went even on horseback
or in a boat
By day or by night
or simply on the beach

See her on video in our family Sun and Sea adventures in Port Dickson

or high up in the hills
She was Kak Tun of our family and the big box wrapped in brown paper was her gift on Ray's birthday
She waited for her turn to get a visa, then get on a bus later by herself to follow the family to live in Singapore
where she got to care for Ray and the boys studying in Singapore
not forgetting Mom when she had to go to the hospital
12 years passed and Ray was turning to a teen to be in Sec or Form 1 so it was time for Kak Tun to wave good bye to us and move on with her life back in Indonesia.

She would return to her Javanese village and build her own house with all her money saved working with our family. She also found a worthy male to be her husband to be married.
Mom and Ray left on Monday for the long journey to her village, by flight and car, to celebrate the joyous occasion with her family and village folks. Mom will add her story and pics here soon. Getting internet connection to post pics or videos here would probably be difficult so it will take some time to see the wedding photos here.
Meanwhile we Congratulate Kak Tun for her Happy Wedding Day and wish her to have a happy family like ours! Also I have added the google translator tool to this blog so that the Indonesian readers can read it in their own language. Try it! Technology is amazing!

Ahh looks like Mom and Ray got to the wedding safely and found wifi somewhere in the village to post the following pics on the wedding day of 24th Nov 2010 :

Seen here Mom and Ray taking a photo with the bride and her mother

Ray with the Bride and Groom

The Solemnization Ceremony

Doesn't Kak Tun look happy on her wedding day? We are all happy for her too!
We look forward one day when we get to reunite again and maybe by that time we have to call her Mak Tun with her pack of children!

To see the entire album of pics that Mom took in Indonesia, click here.

Post-dated Events

Story shared with a friend on facebook. Click here to see the facebook post. :

Guys, check up news on CNN today on Modern Human Slavery happening in Malaysia the BoLe land. This should raise more then some eye brows!

 ·  ·  · 4 hours ago via BlackBerry · 

    • Ahmad Fizal Othman News started in Cambodia. Parents looking for their daughter who is working in Penang after being offered a lucrative job in Malaysia. CNN. Managed to traced her working in a Hard Disk factory. Forced to work and cannot return to Cambodia until she pay the money she supposedly owed to the agency who employed them.
      4 hours ago · 

    • Ahmad Fizal Othman Just wondering, are the maids we employ working at their free will. Something for us to ponder eh?
      4 hours ago · 

    • Sun Fu Chong 
      Hi my Friend! I'm in Penang now and nice to catch up with you and to read this post that got me to ponder again. I know CNN is recently highlighting slavery of women and children. When we first hired an Indonesian maid many years ago, I swallowed hard listening to the guidelines/advice the agent told us to manage the maid eg. No Sundays off, no pay for 6 months to pay agency fees, keeping her money for her etc Now I also heard from some friends also how they lost their maid who just ran away. Well, the story goes that we applied the advice given to us and our maid stayed with us voluntarily for 12 years, got to go home several times to bring back lump sum cash kept for her and finally got married and used her savings to be able to build a house in her kampung.

      CNN or Western countries always advocate fairness principles to protect the maids while agencies and govts in the East seek ways to protect families from an uneducated work force. My view therefore is each country has their own unique situations under different cultures and different economic stages of development. So an optimal balance must be struck by letting CNN and the West play their role as watchdogs while the East play the role of patriarch or father by imposing reasonable controls in their less developed/educated societies to maintain peace and avoid disorder for their people. Peace and Happiness is really what every human being strives for and we have to work hard and smart to perfect our regulatory and governmental systems.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Woon Shuan turns 18 with a joint-birthday celebration

When Shuan celebrated his 17th birthday last year, Dad's reflection was that since he was not the first-born or oldest son or youngest in the family, he was often over-shadowed by the others who were either the oldest child or oldest boy or youngest child.

How quickly a year had gone by and within that year, maybe he decided to change his status of being overshadowed by other family members. He did this by first winning a scholarship from his College prior to entering the College and at the end of the first semester emerged with a perfect 4.0 GPA by scoring all As in all the 5 subjects he had undertaken!

He cuts the cake jointly with his cousin Ying Er on the left and a mutual friend Marie in the Center
The family members of the three Nov babies stood behind them to take a memorable group photo together after singing the birthday song for them :

Dad had to head back to KL before Monday for business and the two younger boys on holidays could follow. Han is preparing for his A levels exam in a week's time while Shuan still had classes at his college with a different holiday schedule from the schools. Mom took the older boys out on Monday Nov 8th for a treat as that was Shuan's actual birthday.

Here are pics from Mom :

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Happy Birthday Woon Ray

Like Father, Like Son, Like Mother

Squatting at the same spot 50yrs later at the govt house at Jln Pegawai, off Jln Ampang Hilir

In front of the same bricked wall garage as the B&W pic below :

It is unvoidable that the youngest child of a large family inevitably ends up following the Father and Mother more closely, becoming very much like them in many ways.
Ray sandwiched between two parents who are both youngest of 7. You've gotta read the amazing Story of 7

We wish Ray a Very Happy Birthday and hope he is happy with who he has become, officially a teenager at 13 with strong personality traits from his parents. As the saying goes, if you can't beat them, join them! See how he helped his parents in the wedding of his sister by clicking here.

Celebration with the family in Singapore :

Sharing his birthday joy Online with his oldest sister in the USA