Malaysian parents heartbroken over missing son's death linked to job scam


Goi Chee Kong and his wife from Ipoh, Perak when met in Bangkok. The Malaysian couple who travelled to Bangkok to look for their missing son was left heartbroken to find out their eldest child had passed away on May 11 at Mae Sot Hospital near the Thailand-Myanmar border.- Bernama

BANGKOK: A Malaysian couple who travelled to Bangkok to look for their missing son was heartbroken upon finding out their son passed away on May 11 at Mae Sot Hospital near the Thailand-Myanmar border.

Goi Chee Kong, 50, and his wife, 45, from Ipoh, Perak, were devasted when they found out Zhan Feng, 23, had fallen victim to a job scam.

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He was believed to have been trafficked into Myawaddy in south-eastern Myanmar and forced to work for the syndicate.

The couple travelled to Bangkok on August 30 and were scheduled to fly to Mae Sot the following day to meet their son.

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"We were told my son was ill and was receiving treatment at the hospital. Therefore, my wife and I travelled to Bangkok, hoping to bring him back to Malaysia for treatment.

"However, we were informed he had died at 2am on May 11. The doctor believed my son was abused before he was left at the hospital for treatment on April 11,” he told Bernama when met here.

Chee Kong said his son was admitted to the hospital’s ICU unit under a fake name and passport number.

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Due to his son’s fake identity, he said the hospital could not reach the embassy and family to discuss his health condition and treatment.

"Without further medical treatment, he passed away a month later. His remain was buried at a cemetery in Si Racha in Chonburi province,” he said.

To bring closure to the family, Chee Kong said he and his wife hope to bring their son’s ashes home as soon as possible.

ALSO READ: Woman pleads for son's rescue from forced labour in Cambodia

However, he was informed by a non-governmental organisation that arranged his son’s burial services in May to settle the outstanding hospital bills of about RM40,000 before the family could obtain a death certificate to exhume the body for DNA testing and cremation.

With the assistance of Teruntum assemblyman Sim Chon Siang who is in Bangkok, a fundraising campaign was launched on Friday (Sept 2).

In about 22 hours, the family had collected RM50,000 from generous members of the public.

ALSO READ: Sophisticated scams lure job seekers into South-East Asia's lawless corners

Accompanying the family to Mae Sot, Sim said the family would settle the hospital bills on Monday (Sept 5) and obtain the death certificate and permission to exhume the body at the burial site at Si Racha in Chonburi (about120 km southeast of Bangkok) as soon as possible.

"We hope to bring the ashes back to Malaysia on Thursday (Sept 8). We hope everything goes smoothly,” Sim said.

Zhan Feng, a final year student of the Institute of Teacher Education (IPG), travelled to Bangkok for a holiday on January 19 to meet a friend he had met on social media.

ALSO READ: Job scams: 46 M'sians rescued from Cambodia so far this year, says ambassador

Zhan Feng promised to return home to celebrate his mother’s birthday on Feb 5. However, he did not show up. Two days later, his father lodged a missing person report.

On March 31, Zhan Feng called the parent and informed them that he was in Mae Sot in Tak Province and he needed RM80,000 for medical treatment.

"During the conversation, we noticed something unusual. We believed he was monitored and threatened. He was unusually quiet. He also apologised for not being able to return home. He promised will return home a year later... We have not heard from him since then,” Chee Kong said.

ALSO READ: Cops raid scam syndicate's call centre in Jalan Klang Lama condo

After the telephone conversation, he believed his son was a job scam victim, lodged a police report on April 2.

He advised job seekers to not fall victim to lucrative oversea job offers.

"We accepted my son’s death. I hope his death teaches all young job seekers a lesson. I hope his death will be the last,” he said.- Bernama

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