Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Unk Dicko pays his Respect !

Teresa Ville, the condo apartments off Lower Delta Road, rests in a serene, quiet and peaceful haven, not too far of from the Blangah Hills. At about 4.30 pm this afternoon I gently drove myself there, parked near the white tented area. All around and on both sides of the driveway were wreaths of beautiful flowers and more elsewhere. The scene was so peaceful....unlike the violence and carnage at Mumbai just days ago.
Unk Dicko was there to pay his Respects to the late Ms Lo Hwei Yen...S'pore's 1st victim of a terrorist attack.

Just before going in, I met Tng Kim Guan who was behind me. ( Tng K G was with me at the 1st Singapore Gunung Tahan Expedition in April 1969. I have written an extensive 1st person account of the Historic climb in this blogsite. See ...February 2008 Archives for the full story, over 31 posts. ).

We walked in together and signed the Condolence Book.

Rodney Tan and Robert Tan ( ex-TTC YLTC ) saw us and signalled to S Puhaindran and his wife Mary that we had arrived. Puhaindran's 1st words to me was," Hi Dick..was expecting you." My response was," Dear ole friend Puhaindran....I am so sorry this has happened."while clutching him. We consoled Mary too with some comforting words.

At the table, after we sat down, Puhaindran and Mary recounted what had happened in the final moments of the life of their beautiful daughter-in-law, Hwei Yen.

Most of the details of this story are already out in the mass media.

But there were a few things we learnt that I will not release here.
The conversations at our table was all about the Mumbai attack and what precisely took place at the Oberoi Hotel where Hwei Yen was eventually killed. Mary and Stanley P filled us in.

Rodney mentioned that he has read about the great Intelligence failure of the Indian side. The police and other personnel that reacted and confronted the terrorists in the initial stages of the attack were not trained for such incidents...and thus not only suffered casualties but may have made the crisis worse in terms of fatalities.

I concurred, giving my assessment from all the many reports I've read mostly online.

We spent about an hour there and before we left went once again to pay our most humble respects at the casket bearing Hwei Yen's body. She was serene and peaceful and clothed in a red cheongsam.
I whispered to Puhaindran that they had done a good job knowing she was shot in the head and abdomen as well.
He whispered back to me," her head......behind the ear ".

Mary, Tng K Guan, Stanley, unk Dicko


Mary, Rodney, Tng K G and S Puhaindran

I mentioned to Puhaindran that D2 my wife, would have come with me too. But right then, even as we were there talking, she is in Chengdu, the state capital of Szechuan Province, China. With her expertise as a Principal, she helped set up a new school in the aftermath of the Great Earthquake. She was there for the Opening of this newly built school and to further enhance the teachers, the set-up and other know how.
( See my blogpost on the Szechuan earthquake at archives 2008 ).

Michael Puhaindran, unk Dicko and Tng K G

I told Michael " We are here to show our support. I knew your father a long time ago. Try to be Strong".

Rodney comforting Michael, Hwei Yen's loving husband.

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