Alexandra Canal accident: Mother and daughter cremated

Mourners at the funeral procession for Madam Yep and her daughter, Kimberly, as their hearses leave for Mandai Crematorium yesterday.
Mourners at the funeral procession for Madam Yep and her daughter, Kimberly, as their hearses leave for Mandai Crematorium yesterday.ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

Businessman Robin Poon, 50, and his wife Cecilia Yep Lay Choo, 51, were school sweethearts.

They started dating in their final semester at the former Singapore Technical Institute in 1985.

About 10 years later, they welcomed their only daughter, Kimberly. They lived in a semi-detached house near Jalan Bahar in the Jurong West area, with two relatives.

Madam Yep would watch Korean shows with her daughter, 22, a Singapore Institute of Management logistics undergraduate. The family of three would go for lunch weekly.

Friends said the Poons were a portrait of domestic bliss - until the Mercedes-Benz E250 convertible Madam Yep was driving plunged into Alexandra Canal as she was leaving a mall carpark on Sunday night.

She and Kimberly, the only passenger, died on the spot.

Yesterday afternoon, they were cremated at Mandai crematorium following a three-day wake in Woodlands Street 41, where Madam Yep's older brother lives.

Mr Poon went for a work appointment on the evening of the accident, while mother and daughter went to Valley Point mall in River Valley.

At the crematorium yesterday, family friends said the Poons were close, low-key and modest despite their wealth. Mr Poon runs a car workshop, while Madam Yep worked as a human resources manager at a maritime logistics firm.

"They treated everyone respectfully and never had any airs," said a family friend who knew them for about 30 years. He declined to be named.

About 100 well-wishers sent off the two women's white coffins when they left the wake for Mandai at 1.30pm yesterday. Mr Poon, his mother and mother-in-law did not attend the cremation as they are not allowed to, according to Buddhist tradition.

A former classmate from the technical institute, who wanted to be known only as Mr Gan, said: "We will miss Cecilia at gatherings."

He had kept in touch with her through Mr Poon, when they bumped into each other at pubs.

"He would call her and put me on the phone with Cecilia. She was a homely person," Mr Gan added.

The Straits Times understands that Mr Poon will go back to work next week to meet a deadline.

Said the family friend: "We are all very worried about Robin. He tries to put on a brave front but he told us in private that he is hurting."

Mr Gan said: "All of us who knew Cecilia are still in shock that such a tragedy happened... We just hope that Robin finds the strength to pull through this."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 29, 2016, with the headline 'Canal crash: Mother and daughter cremated'. Print Edition | Subscribe