IPOH: Chong Yee Pheng was just 22 when she applied for a job at Malaysia Airlines as a flight attendant.
Her mother Yee Swee Yeng, 72, recounted that she had accompanied her daughter for the interview.
“I could still remember that there was a ‘height evaluation’ in which those who did not meet the minimum height requirement would be eliminated.
“My daughter was almost 180cm. We were both elated when we found out that she made the cut,” she said during the wake for Chong at her home in First Garden here on Saturday.
The remains of Chong, who was part of the MH17 crew, arrived back in Malaysia on Friday.
Chong, 40, is survived by her father Chong Yuk Sang, 74, her mother, siblings, nephews and nieces.
Recalling the events of yesteryears, Yee said: “I would not say that I regret supporting her decision to be an air stewardess because she was really happy with her job.
“Even though the first few months had been rough for her, she made it through with a smile on her face at all times.”
Earlier this year, Chong had spoken to her about quitting her job to become a florist.
“She loved flowers. She wanted to come home for a job on the ground,” said Yee, adding that roses and lilies were some of her daughter’s favourite.
One of Chong’s aunts, who declined to be named, said she last saw Chong when she came to visit her in Taiping two weeks before the July 17 tragedy.
“She wanted to have noodles, so I took her to a restaurant to try out its laksa. She told me that it was delicious and that she wanted to come here again with me next time.”
Chong’s former Sunday school teacher at the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, who also declined to be named, recalled her as a quiet but sweet girl.
“I used to teach her every Sunday until she was 13. Even though she was reserved, she never turned down the chance to participate in the Girls and Boys Brigade of the church’s activities.”
Yesterday, Chong was laid to rest at the Paradise Memorial Park.
Earlier, hundreds of people turned up at their house to pay their last respects.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong was among those who came.
Family members said it had been Chong’s dream to see the world.