KOTA KINABALU: Hundreds of people streamed in and out of Fook Lu Siew Funeral Parlour here to pay their last respects to Sandakan MP and state minister Datuk Stephen Wong Tien Fatt.
Visibly devastated during the wake service was Wong’s wife Florence Chong Mee Fook who has yet to come to terms with his sudden demise.
Only two days ago, Wong took part in a hike organised by the Junior Chamber International in Kg Duvanson, Putatan, before he collapsed in the car and was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Wong’s only son Arthur, 34, said he and his three sisters were now focused on giving their mother all the strength she needs to cope with the loss.
Arthur described Wong as the “perfect father”, who never failed to set aside time for his family despite his hectic schedule as a state minister and chairman of Sabah DAP.
“After he got into politics, he was so busy but still he made time to take care of his family. He never neglected us. He was like ‘Superman’ to us.
“That was why when he pushed himself at work, I never said anything. I never asked him to slow down because it never occurred to me that one day, he would just collapse,” he said in between tears.
Arthur added that it was particularly difficult for him to read posts on social media praising Wong as a leader, as it was a painful reminder of the loss.
“I am not surprised that people have only kind words to say about him. He always tried his best to attend every event and helped others regardless of ethnicity or religion,” he said.
Leaders from the state government and local opposition parties were at the funeral parlour yesterday to pay their respects to Wong, including opposition Parti Bersatu Sabah president Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili, who commended Wong for always being vocal about Sabah rights in parliament.
“He always spoke his mind. Even though we were on different sides of the political divide, I found him to be bold when speaking about Sabah rights. He always asked the right questions, and I would always answer him,” he said.
National DAP leaders, including Lim Guan Eng, Tony Pua and Teresa Kok, arrived last night to attend Wong’s wake service.
A two-day wake service will be held over the weekend at the San Fook Hing Funeral Parlour in Wong’s hometown of Sandakan to allow mourners to pay their last respects.
The funeral service has been scheduled for Monday at the Tiong Hua Secondary School, after which Wong will be laid to rest at the Sandakan Christian Burial Ground along Mile 12, off Labuk Road.
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