Devastated: A relative of a passenger who was on board MH17 leaving a briefing meeting as she is helped to her room at Putrajaya Marriot Hotel. — AFP
KUALA LUMPUR: Melbourne University alumna Elaine Teoh and her Dutch boyfriend Emiel Mahler, passengers on the tragic Flight MH17, have been described as a loving couple who had the utmost respect for each other, right to the very end, according to Teoh’s best friend.
In a statement via e-mail, Tan Sook Theng said: “Seeing her so happy with the love of her life makes me, as a friend, genuinely grateful that fate brought them together ... Their relationship is one that I would wish for everyone.
“They complemented each other’s lives.”
Tan, 27, who has been close friends with Teoh, originally from Penang, for 13 years since the latter moved to Subang Jaya in 2002, had been scheduled to fetch the couple from Kuala Lumpur International Airport early Friday morning.
“We last texted on WhatsApp on the day she boarded the plane and were excited to see each other again after our last meeting in January.
“We were to spend the weekend together and all this time, we had been in touch every other week. Now, there will be no more of that,” she said.
Describing Teoh as a smart, funny, witty and beautiful individual, Tan said her friend was both a “partner in crime and a shoulder to lean on”.
“She had a gentle heart, always a kind-spirited human being and sincerely a very loving person. She was family.”
Teoh and Mahler, both 27, lived in Melbourne where they worked in the financial sector. The couple, who had been together since 2012, were on holiday in Portugal and Holland before departing Amsterdam shortly after noon on Thursday for Kuala Lumpur.
Sharing her thoughts on the incident, Tan said: “People have all the basic necessities to live; life isn’t really all that complicated, but people make it so.
“The only thing that’s making this world sick is that people are feeding their ego. What makes them so superior than the rest to play God?”
Both Teoh and Mahler’s Facebook pages have been flooded with heart-rending messages from family and friends.
A post on Teoh’s Facebook reads: “Gone too soon, one of the nicest, friendliest and kindest persons I have ever met. A girl with a big smile but an even bigger heart.”
Je Wook Jung paid tribute to Mahler on his Facebook page: “You will be truly missed by all of us. Such a good man, we will remember all the good memories we had with you. Rest in Peace, mate.”
Meanwhile, Teoh’s brother David, in a statement on Facebook, posted: “While I understand public opinion and comments on MH17, I urge my friends to remain wise and calm when talking about it and also keep my family and I in prayer as we are going through these tough times. Your prayers and thoughtfulness will be very much appreciated.” — Bernama