BUTTERWORTH (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysian university student Neoh Jai Jun went on a birthday trip to Bangkok and was supposed to receive another surprise when he returned home.
However, the student of Tan Chiang University in Taiwan never got the chance to find out what the surprise was, as he was one of five Malaysians killed in the bomb blast at the Erawan Shrine in the Ratchaprasong district on Monday.
His elder brother Neoh Kah Loon, 26, a businessman, said his brother, who turned 20 on the day he was killed, had just completed his foundation studies and was back in their parents' house for the holidays.
"The family had initially wanted to only visit Hua Hin in the Gulf of Thailand, but since it was Jai Jun's 20th birthday on Monday, they decided to extend the trip to Bangkok," Mr Neoh said, adding that he last saw his brother about two weeks before the incident.
His brother had applied to further his studies majoring in Business Management and the university's offer letter came when he was in Thailand.
"It's so sad that he never got to find out that he was accepted by the university," said Mr Neoh.
Also killed in the blast were his mother Lim Saw Gek, 49, brother-in-law Lee Tze Siang, 35, four-year-old niece Jing Xuan and aunt Lim Su See, 52.
His father Neoh Hock Guan, 55 and sister Ee Ling, 33, who is pregnant, survived the attack.
Mr Neoh Kah Loon said his brother, a former student of Jit Sin Independent High School in Bukit Mertajam, was a sociable and fun loving person, and his local and university friends from Taiwan had messaged to say that they would be coming over to pay their last respects.
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng visited the family on Thursday and was accompanied by Thai Consul-General Ekajit Kraivichien and Seberang Prai Municipal Council (MPSP) president Datuk Maimunah Mohd Sharif.
The caskets arrived at their house at about 1.50am on Thursday.
Madam Lim Saw Gek's 71-year-old mother, who was inside the house, was heard wailing uncontrollably when the caskets were brought in and had to be consoled by family members.