KOTA KINABALU: A picture of the late Datuk Edmund Chong Ket Wah is sitting in the middle of room 2C of the Fook Lu Siew funeral parlour.
He was smiling in the photo.
And for many, that is an image they would like to remember him as they slowly grasp the fact of his sudden passing.
Seated on the right hand side of the room were wife Datin Linda Tsen Thau Lin, 54, and their children Jamie Chong Sing Yi, 23, Charlene Chong Tze Yi, 20, Steffi Chong Han Yi, 18, and Doughlas Chong Zheng Yi, 13.
They could only nod when family and friends, who came to pay their last respects, approached to share with them words of comfort as Chong’s immediate family coped the tragic loss of a loving husband and father.
With tissue in her hands, Linda greeted Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin who rushed to the funeral parlour at around 11.20am after touching down at the Terminal Two Airport in Tanjung Aru yesterday.
Accompanying him were Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman and his deputies Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan and Datuk Peter Pang En Yin; Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Unity Affairs and Performance Management ) and Parti Gerakan president, Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, People’s Progressive Party president and Taiping MP Datuk M Kayveas, and other cabinet ministers.
Muhyiddin described Chong as a dedicated people’s representative who had rendered his services well to his Batu Sapi constituent.
“His passing is a big loss for Sabah.
“I am here to represent the Prime Minister and Barisan Nasional chairman Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and the people of Malaysia to express our deepest condolences to the family of the late Datuk Edmund Chong.
“Him leaving us so suddenly is a sad moment, and all we can say to the family members is to be patient,” he said.
Muhyiddin assured Linda and her family that the government would provide help, in whatever it can, to ensure the needs of their school going children are met.
The eldest, Jamie, is said to have just graduated while her two sisters, Charlene and Steffi are studying overseas.
Douglas, the only son, is in Form One.
Muhyiddin said it is painful to lose someone so sudden, especially when they are involved in accidents, but all these are fated.
Chong, who had a passion for high powered vehicles, was killed when his motorcycle rammed into a Mercedes Benz along the killer Coastal Road stretch close to noon last Saturday.