Ambience of pain, grief hovers over Sibu

INCONSOLABLE: Li Xiao Lan holds the photograph of Tong Hock as the funeral begins.

SIBU: It was a day of grief and pain as friends and relatives sent the four slain family members off in a funeral ceremony at Sibu Hospital early yesterday.

In what the grieving family members put it, it was the final journey for businessman Ling Tong Hock, his mother Leong Nyuk Lan, and his two children David Ling Chei Qi and Amy Ling Zi Jiun.

Police believed the four were mercilessly hacked and slashed by a teenage boy who intruded into their house in RTM Road by descending from a hole on the toilet ceiling.

HEART-BROKEN MOTHER: Kong (right) and a family member weep during the funeral over the loss of their beloved ones.

FINAL SEND-OFF: Friends and relatives pay their last respects to the three generations of family during their funeral.

BE STRONG: ASP Tega consoles Li Xiao Lan.

HEART-RENDING: Kong stays by her daughter Amy’s coffin before the funeral begins. Amy took with her the creamy-coloured teddy bear.

The boy, who is now under remand, is believed to have killed them just to steal a computer USB cable.

In the coffin of 10-year-old David, family members put in the new clothes they had bought for him for the coming Chinese New Year, and in the coffin of seven-year-old Amy, they stuffed in her favourite creamy-coloured teddy bear.

Their mother, Kong Yien Yien, who flew back from Singapore to send them off, called on her children to stay close to their father.

She asked them to be obedient and not to run about as they began their final journey with their father.

Tong Hock’s present wife, Li Xiao Lan, who had recently been released to help police in the murder probe, wailed throughout the funeral.

She remembered the vow of an everlasting love when she and Tong Hock married about a year ago.

Being left alone now, she said she would find it hard to adapt to the pain and emptiness.

She said she would have to go through this pain for the rest of her life.

She also wailed for the two children, whom she had grown to love after the marriage.

When Kong and Tong Hock divorced, their three children were in the custody of Tong Hock.

In her Facebook, she had pondered as to why such cruelty had befallen on her two innocent children.

Her other son with Tong Hock, Kelvin Ling Chei You, 8, is still struggling in the ICU unit of the Sarawak General Hospital in Kuching.

Kelvin is the only survivor, and friends and relatives are now praying for his speedy recovery.

In the encoffin ceremony yesterday, Kong saw that her daughter Amy was still wearing the ear rings she had bought her. She took them off to keep as souvenirs.

The funeral yesterday morning was carried out in accordance with Buddhist rites.

Police officers were also present to comfort the grieving family members.

Investigating officer ASP Tega Bilong assured them that the police had done their best to let justice prevail.

He then hurried off to the airport to take DNA samples and other crime scene evidence of the murder to Kuala Lumpur for analysis.

Also present were senior investigating officer ASP Yeoh Chun Shyan, Inspector Heng
Kok How, and other CID personnel involved in the murder probe.

They accompanied the grieving family members to the cemeteries.

While aged Leong Nyuk Lan was burried in Kutien cemetery, Tong Hock and his two children were buried in Lau Clan’s cemetery.

Sarawak DAP chairman Wong Ho Leng, who is also Sibu MP and Bukit Assek assemblyman, was also present.

The funeral ceremony was carried out in three sessions.

The first to set off was the funeral of Leong, as the 76-year-old was the elder in the family. Li Xiao Lan wore sack clothes in accordance with Chinese tradition.

She returned 15 minutes later, changing to black to send off her husband Tong Hock.

The last to set off were the funeral of the two children.

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