The father of the trainee pilot killed in last week's CTE accident is ready to forgive the driver who caused the crash. But not if drink driving was involved.
"Dear Sir, if this incident was due to your carelessness, or even your recklessness, my whole family will accept this as fate. And we forgive you for what happened," said Mr Ayoub Ahmat, 51, who buried his only son, 23-year-old Amron, and the eldest of his four children on Friday.
"But if you took the steering wheel while you were intoxicated, it's a bit difficult for us to forgive you, even if you seek to apologise," he told The Straits Times yesterday in an interview at the family's Hougang home.
He called the accident, which also claimed the lives of Mr Amron's Korean girlfriend and her parents, "the worst mistake" of the black multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) driver's life.
The 34-year-old driver has been arrested by police for dangerous driving causing death and his licence suspended.
Mr Amron was driving his girlfriend Jamie Song Jisoo, 24, her brother and her parents to the airport before 4am on National Day when they had a flat tyre along the Central Expressway.
He pulled up at a chevron area near the Yio Chu Kang exit and all of them got out, when an MPV hit them from behind, killing Ms Song and her parents instantly. Her brother was unhurt as he was standing by the side of the road.
Mr Amron, who suffered multiple injuries, died in Khoo Teck Puat hospital.
His father, who works in the aviation line and is based in Negeri Sembilan, said the family had always been accepting of Miss Song, despite cultural differences.
She was also close to Mr Amron's three sisters, said Mr Ayoub, recalling a treat Miss Song gave the girls about a month ago, when she found out his second child had secured a place at Nanyang Technological Univer- sity.
Mr Amron was not there, as he was based in Malacca during weekdays on pilot training.
The relationship apparently had the blessings of Miss Song's parents as well.
"When he visited them in Korea, they cooked for him with a new pot, and they gave Amron a place to pray in their home," said Mr Ayoub, adding that Miss Song's parents also brought gifts for him and his wife on their ill-fated visit to Singapore.
Quoting the Quran, Islam's holy book, a still-grieving but composed Mr Ayoub said: "We come from the Creator, and to Him, we will return."
But he had a final question for the driver of the black MPV.
"Are you able to live with yourself, if one of the victims happened to be your family," he asked, hoping aloud that he would receive " a fair judgment".
Miss Song and her parents will be cremated this morning at Mandai Crematorium before their ashes are taken to Korea.