Sunday, July 27, 2008

Good Bye, My Friend!

First posted, July 20th 2008


In September 2004, my husband and I started going to the lounge in the Park Avenue Hotel in Sungai Petani to listen to the live bands playing oldies (songs by the beatles, Bee Gees, Broery, Lobo etc) while sipping coffee or tea. We used to go there almost every weekend. Sometimes, the owner of the hotel, the late Tan Sri Eric Chia would also be there. After sometime, one evening his aide came to us and said that the Tan Sri would like to get to know us. Then, we moved to his table and he ordered the bartender to bring us more drinks. On top of that, he ordered the chef to prepare food for us. We had a long talk. On that night we had a chance of getting to know this successful but humble man. He related to us his childhood, his struggle, his pains and achievements which include the Perwaja Steel. He also told us about how Tun Mahathir entrusted him with the task to turn around Perwaja Steel. We also talked about his court case. Since that evening, we were welcomed to the lounge, drink whatever we want and eat anything free of charge until now! Sometimes, when we went there, he would insist that we sat at his table. He would ask how we are doing and also our children. Not only that, every ramadhan he would insist that we bring our family to the hotel to breakfast and flatly refused to accept any payment.

Then, starting from March this year, we stopped going to the lounge because I started becoming unwell and finally had my operation to remove the cancer tumour on my tongue. We learned from his aide that he had been wondering why we had not come to the lounge for a long time. After a few weeks after my discharge from the hospital, we went to the lounge again twice but he was not there. Then, suddenly, on the 24th June, last tuesday at about 5.00 pm, we received a call informing us about his passing. I was devastated for not being able to meet him after I recovered.

I still remember an occasion, when my husband and I went to thank him for his sincere generosity (we are nobody), and he said, "friends don't say thank you. Friends say 'hi'". No matter what people say about him, to me he is one person who would not hesitate to contribute to anyone without hoping for anything or favour in return.

Today is his funeral. Rest in peace, Tan Sri. Good bye, my friend!


"Life is too short"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Juz wanna say Hi and salam.....I'm still here.