Distressed father wants answers to only son’s death


Painful loss: Chong wants answers on how his son Nicholas could have drowned during a school swimming lesson

Painful loss: Chong wants answers on how his son Nicholas could have drowned during a school swimming lesson

KOTA KINABALU: A grieving father wants answers to how his only son could have died during a school’s swimming lesson,

“I am not blaming anyone. I just want to know what happened on that day.

“I’ve heard so much from his classmates, I believe he could have been saved,” a tearful Chong Kam Fei, 49, told reporters as he and his wife Vivien Lee and their nine-year-old daughter prepared to bury Nicholas Chong Zhen Yi yesterday.

Among those who attended were school teachers, classmates and their parents as well as state Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Frankie Poon.

Chong said Nicholas, 14, had attended a previous lesson organised by the school and on the second lesson, tragedy struck.

Chong said the first lesson was held in the shallower pool of a resort here.

The second lesson, on Wednesday, was held at the professional five-metre pool at Likas Sports Complex.

“I didn’t even know they were using the pool in Likas. Were they sure the children were capable of swimming in a pool used for professional swimmers?” he asked.

The businessman also asked about the supervision of teachers and whether there were lifeguards or swimming instructors around.

Chong said he learnt that his son’s classmates shouted for help when they saw Nicholas struggling.

He said the children claimed the swimming instructor was then at another pool.

He is waiting for an official explanation from the school.

In a statement released on Friday, Kinabalu International School principal Ian Gross said that Nicholas was in the second year with the school and had many friends and well liked by his teachers.

The case is being investigated by police who are waiting for a toxicology report.

Courts Crime , drown