SIBU: The only son of state Cabinet minister Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh died shortly after being found unconscious by his mother in his room.
The death of Datuk Andrew Wong Kee Yew, 42, stunned Sibu town as he had just been seen in public on the fourth and fifth day of Chinese New Year when he joined his parents in welcoming VVIPs and guests to the open house at their residence in Jalan Ipoh.
“The day before (his death), we were happily taking photographs together.
“But now he is gone,” said Andrew’s mother Datin Seri Leong Poh Lin, who sobbed as she related how she discovered him passed out at 9.30pm on Sunday.
“I quickly called doctors from Rejang Medical Centre and KPJ. They came and tried to resuscitate him for one to two hours but he died at about 11pm,” she said.
She said Andrew, who was the third of their four children, had hypertension and had been on medication.
“He was a filial son who was always concerned about my health as I have dizzy spells,” she added.
Soon Koh, who is Second Finance Minister, said Andrew had gone out early Sunday with a group of people on jetski to Kg Tutus, which was about an hour away.
“He spent quite a long time in Rumah Ukap, Tutus, having a good time with the longhouse people.
“He must have been very exhausted. When he arrived home last night, he went straight to his room,” said Soon Koh, 77.
Andrew, who has two children aged 17 and 19, had contested the Sibu seat during GE14 but lost to the incumbent, Oscar Ling of DAP.
Soon Koh said that his son died with his dream for Sibu unfulfilled.
Andrew, who was the deputy chairman of Sibu Municipal Council from 2014 to 2016, had plans of turning Sibu into a city.
His transformation plan covered six areas including agriculture, education, infrastructure and tourism, he added.
The grieving Soon Koh said that he and his wife will have to go on with their lives.
“My wife and I will remain strong.
“My son died a dignified person,” he said, describing Andrew as a kind-hearted person who helped pay the tuition fee of poor students at Kolej Laila Taib when he was the principal there.
Meanwhile, Sibu OCPD Asst Comm Stanley Jonathan Ringgit said the case had been classified as sudden death.
An autopsy will be conducted at the Sibu Hospital in a day or two, he added.
Sibu Hawkers Welfare Association chairman Tan Hong Kiang said Andrew was a sincere and straightforward person.
“I knew him about five or six years ago.
“When he was with the municipal council, he would have a drink with us at the central market to find out what needed to be done to improve the market.
“He was always concerned with our well-being.
“He also helped us set up the association,” he added.