BATU PAHAT: Sorrow filled the air when the remains of four members of the Tan family were brought back to the Hoon Cheow Tong Association funeral parlour along Jalan Sultanah here yesterday.
The dead were Tan Thin Thin, 36, Tan Sui Heng, 54, Ker Bong Ngwang, 57, and Low Chee Lan, 85.
Family members were seen kneeling down when the first coffin containing the remains of Low, the family matriarch, arrived.
Low’s daughter-in-law Lim Zhe Li cried uncontrollably and had to be calmed down by her son Tan Sien Nian and other relatives.
Six members of the family were among 22 Malaysians travelling to northern Thailand on a four-day tour that started on Dec 17.
The bus they were travelling in from Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai was involved in a fatal accident last Sunday, resulting in 13 deaths.
Two members of the family – Yan Yang Soon, 64, and Ker Shin Hui, 20 – sustained various injuries but are in stable condition at a hospital in Chiang Mai.
Alice Lee, 53, a relative, said the deaths had dealt a devastating blow to the family as they were a close-knit group.
“Thin Thin was a teacher at a private education centre here and was devoted to her job,” she said.
She added that the remains would be cremated tomorrow and on Saturday in Pagoh and the ashes placed in a temple along Jalan Zabedah here.
Family members of Lum See Seng, 63, a well-known traditional herbal tea merchant here who died in the accident, still could not believe what had happened to him and his family.
His eldest daughter Lum Ker Xin, 23, was still in shock over the tragedy that also left her mother Ng Too Hiyok, 63, and youngest sister Lum Jia Miem, 21, injured.
She said her family initially refused to accept the news when it circulated on Facebook.
“It did not occur to me that it would involve my family as their group leader had just sent me a group picture of them enjoying themselves via WhatsApp.
“The news on Facebook said the accident involved tourists from China and I never once thought it was my family’s group,” she said when met at the Teng Ngee San Toh Tong funeral parlour at Jalan Tanjung Labuh.
Lum said her mother and youngest sister were still receiving treatment at a hospital in Thailand.
“I will go to Thailand as soon as my father’s funeral is over as I need to assist my mother and sister to come home, ” she added.
The remains of her father, which arrived at the funeral parlour at around 9.30am yesterday, will be cremated at around 10am at the Fairy Memorial Park in Pagoh tomorrow.