A final ‘celebration’ for Choi


GEORGE TOWN: In life, Choi Hon Ming’s job was about laughter, balloons and celebration. In death, his family will honour his memory by releasing balloons to mark his 32 years of life.

Instead of grieving over his untimely death, the professional clown’s family plans to celebrate his life during his funeral tomorrow by letting off 32 helium-filled balloons.

His sister Poh Peng, 37, said the balloons would signify his age and the good times they had had with him.

“His friends in the same line of work may come for the funeral dressed as clowns,” she said when met at the Batu Gantung funeral parlour yesterday.

Hon Ming was killed along with two others during a shooting on the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway on Thursday night.

Poh Peng said Hon Ming and his wife had planned to host their wedding reception in December next year.

“They just registered their marriage in July. Hon Ming had hoped to set up a balloon concept store in Alor Setar next month.”

Inconsolable: Neighbour S. Kristina Malar consoling Poh Peng at the funeral parlour in Batu Gantung. — Bernama
Inconsolable: A neighbour S.Kristina Malar consoling Poh Peng at the funeral parlour in Batu Gantung. —Bernama

Over in Butterworth, doctors have harvested the bones of M. Senthil, 38, who, like Hon Ming, was killed by a stray bullet when a bodyguard allegedly shot at his boss and the latter’s business partner.

Senthil’s wife L. Thachayani, 42, said her husband had pledged to be an organ donor to help others in need.

“Because he was shot in the chest, it was too late for the rest of his organs to be harvested,” she said at their house in Seberang Jaya.

Thachayani said they had been married for 12 years and did not have any children.

Her uncle M. Veerayah, 67, said Senthil was like a son he never had.

“When he first came over from India, he went through some hard times before he found success as a florist.

“His death is a big loss to us. His elderly parents are still in India,” said Veerayah.

Veerayah’s daughter V. Usha, 41, said Senthil’s favourite drink was teh tarik kao kao (thick).

“He did not smoke, drink or gamble,” said Usha, a warehouse officer.

Meanwhile, a check at the Penang Hospital found that those injured by the stray bullets during the incident – Mohamad Amirul Amin, 28, TNB assistant manager Nurul Huda Abdul Aziz, 38, and Dr Arivarni Krishnan, 33, formerly attached to the hospital – were still warded at the intensive care unit, while 56-year-old Lee Hong Boon has been transferred to the normal ward.

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