Family reunion after six months


Lee Heng Peng took a selfie with his wife Hoh Pui Yee and two sons, Nick and Peter, on an outing in Beijing. The family, which was separated for more than six months due to the Covid-10 pandemic, has finally reunited in Beijing.

BEIJING: It was six long months since Lee Heng Peng was last with his family.

The partner of an international accounting firm here had been separated from his wife and two sons.

Lee, 47, returned for work in the Chinese capital in February while his family remained in Malaysia for a holiday, with none expecting both countries to close their borders due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

The happy family reunion finally came two months ago when Hoh Pui Yee, 47, and her two sons Nick, 15 and Peter, 11, were among the first few Malaysians allowed to enter China.

It came with a price though.

Lee paid more than 20,000 yuan (RM12,540) for each of the premium economy tickets from Kuala Lumpur to Shanghai as there is still no direct flight to the Chinese capital.

The tickets, which were released just two weeks before the departure date, were nearly 10-fold the usual price before the pandemic.

Hoh and their children completed their two-week quarantine in Shanghai before they flew to Beijing.

Recalling their first meeting after a long separation, Lee said he hugged them tightly.

“I was waiting for them at a cafe near the exit but there was no drama because we chatted online every day, ” he said.

Lee said the pandemic had somehow changed him, to be more independent.

“I came from a big family of eight children, so I was always surrounded by people. There was never one time that I had a meal on my own. But for the past few months, I lived alone and ate alone on many occasions.

“I slowly got used to such a life but I did not like it. I felt unwanted, ” Lee said, adding that the pandemic had also brought him and his siblings as well as nephews and nieces closer.

“They are all over Malaysia and some overseas like Singapore and Taiwan. We set up a group chat to check on each other’s well-being once a week, ” he said.

Lee went on a short vacation to visit the Great Wall and a nearby town with his family during China’s week-long national holiday.

Lee and his family are lucky as many Malaysians here are still separated from their loved ones.

With the pandemic very much under control nationwide, China is making preparations in expectation of opening its borders soon.

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 18
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
   

Did you find this article insightful?

Yes
No

100% readers found this article insightful

Next In Nation

Delivery service using private vehicles allowed to continue, says Dr Wee
Melaka tourism players concerned over claims of undocumented migrants entering the state
Enough 1kg packets of cooking oil for consumers in Negri Sembilan, says state Domestic Trade Ministry director
Jobless man pleads not guilty to robbing lawyer
House break-in and car theft syndicate busted in Johor, three arrested
National Unity Minister Halimah Mohamed Sadique tests positive for Covid-19
Alleged rape of girl in Miri police lockup a wake-up call, says Bkt Assek rep
118 workers at Pasar Borong KL test positive for Covid-19
Azalina rejects request to hold special parliamentary session on Emergency
Umno, BN MPs to have virtual meeting on special parliamentary session

Stories You'll Enjoy