Families of Malaysian women who died in stampede not aware they went to get free food coupons

Two victims at the Kuala Lumpur market stampede receiving aid. Almost 1,000 people were there to get free food coupons.
Two victims at the Kuala Lumpur market stampede receiving aid. Almost 1,000 people were there to get free food coupons.PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The families of the two elderly women, who died while trying to get hold of free food coupons, were not aware that they went to the programme.

The youngest daughter of Madam Law Ion Nang, who only wanted to be known as Tay, said her mother was a socially active person.

Said the 38-year-old at the Kwong Tong Cemetery funeral parlour on Tuesday (Jan 29): "She loves travelling and often goes out or spends time with a group of friends.

"On the day of the incident, my mum only told my elder brother that she was going out to have food with her friends.

"She didn't tell us where she was going.

"If we had known, we would not allow her to go to that event."

Separately, the youngest daughter of Madam Cheong Poh also said her mother often went out with friends.

"She left home at about 6am on Monday for breakfast with her friends in Pudu."

"We were not aware where she went after that," said Ms Hiew, 52, adding that they were informed by one of her mother's friends about the incident later.

"We were shocked and devastated," she said.

Both Madam Law, 78, and Madam Cheong, 85, died when hundreds of people dashed for just 200 free food coupons at ICC Pudu on Monday.

The free buffet meals were meant for the needy, given out in conjunction with the festive season, but a huge crowd turned up and scrambled for the coupons at the hawker centre.

Ms Hiew said the organiser of the charity event should be responsible, as there was no mention of how many free coupons were to be handed out.


"They should at least apologise, explain or say something to us. But nothing," she said, adding that she would seek legal advice and reserve the right to take legal action.

Ms Tay called upon the people to stop spreading stories that her family had been negligent in taking care of her mother.

"Our mum is a very active and outgoing person."

"Such baseless claims are truly uncalled for as we mourn our loss. This should stop," she said.

Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai, who paid a visit and presented contributions to both families, said organisers of charity events should take into consideration all safety aspects.