Tribute to Wee Nam Kee founder Wee Toon Ouut

Goodbye, Mr Wee: An immigrant recounts how the owner of Wee Nam Kee became a family friend

Mr Wee Toon Ouut was a welcoming sight for the writer whenever he dined at Wee Nam Kee, and his conversations with Mr Wee gave him extraordinary insights into people and events in Singapore's past.
Mr Wee Toon Ouut was a welcoming sight for the writer whenever he dined at Wee Nam Kee, and his conversations with Mr Wee gave him extraordinary insights into people and events in Singapore's past.ST FILE PHOTO

An immigrant recounts how the owner of his regular food haunt made him feel at home

Last week, I said goodbye to an extraordinary individual who played no small role in my Singapore journey.

Mr Wee Toon Ouut, the proprietor of popular chicken rice restaurant Wee Nam Kee, passed away peacefully on Sunday at Mount Elizabeth Hospital. He was 81 - his Chinese age 82 - and had suffered from liver cirrhosis for some years, a disease he fought bravely even as it threw him off his stride a bit.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 20, 2019, with the headline 'Goodbye, Mr Wee'. Print Edition | Subscribe