Final farewell for Singaporean victim in Bangkok blast

Mr Ng Su Teck (left), with his arm still bearing burn scars, behind the hearse carrying his wife's coffin. The cortege was leaving New Upper Changi Road yesterday morning.
Mr Ng Su Teck (above), with his arm still bearing burn scars, behind the hearse carrying his wife's coffin. The cortege was leaving New Upper Changi Road yesterday morning.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

Husband comes out of hospital to join 100 mourners to pay last respects

With his left arm still bearing burn scars and his right foot in a bandage, Mr Ng Su Teck came out of hospital yesterday morning to bid a final farewell to his wife, Ms Melisa Liu Rui Chun.

Limping towards the hearse carrying her coffin, Mr Ng, 35, who works in sales, gently placed his hand with his silver wedding band on it as her family members prepared to leave for a private church funeral at about 11am.

Moments later, he became distraught and had to be consoled by close friends.

Ms Liu, 34, an employee at AXA Singapore, was killed on the spot in the deadly bomb explosion at the popular Erawan Shrine in central Bangkok last Monday evening.

Mr Ng sustained burns and was cut by glass shards on his right leg. His hearing was also affected.

The powerful rush-hour blast occurred at the busy Ratchaprasong intersection killing 20 people, more than half of them foreigners. Thai police have so far not been able to hunt down the bomber, although a taxi driver, who may have driven the main suspect away from the area, was the latest to be questioned.

Yesterday, the final rites for Ms Liu began at around 10am, when family members, led by a Catholic priest, gathered to sing hymns.

Earlier in the morning, Ms Liu's mother, Madam Katherine Woo, was beside her coffin when overcome with grief, she began to sob heavily. The 60-year-old sank into the arms of relatives who rushed to get her a seat.

An uncle of Ms Liu's, who wanted to be known only as Mr Lau, said he had learnt of her death through reports in the newspapers.

The 70-year-old had seldom seen Ms Liu and her family in recent years, but recalled how "when she was young, they would often come to my house".

Ms Eleena Chew, 34, a close friend of Ms Liu's for more than 20 years, described her as "easy-going, always cheerful and rarely had a temper". The pair enjoyed taking short trips abroad together and had previously been to Bangkok once.

Later, family members and close friends wiped away tears as they walked behind the hearse while You Raise Me Up was played.

Some 100 mourners, including relatives, close friends and Ms Liu's colleagues at AXA Assistance, showed up for her cremation at 1.15pm. The mood was sombre as they paid their last respects.

"It's still unreal for me," said a colleague, who declined to be named. "It is all so sudden and still difficult for me to accept."

One of Ms Liu's friends said in her eulogy: "Melisa's death is sudden and it leaves an empty place in our hearts... But this is not a time for us to cry... but a time to celebrate her life."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 26, 2015, with the headline 'Final farewell for Bangkok blast victim'. Print Edition | Subscribe