Members of public offer help to kids who lost parents in Johor crash

Chua Jun Xian, eight, and his sister, Xin Rou, five, lost their parents in a car crash on June 15, 2018, in Johor.
Chua Jun Xian, eight, and his sister, Xin Rou, five, lost their parents in a car crash on June 15, 2018, in Johor.ST PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO

SINGAPORE (THE NEW PAPER) - When she read the news of the accident that killed the parents of two young children, Ms Marissa Tay thought of her own daughters, aged two and four.

"As the mother of two young children, I could empathise with their situation," said the director of Stamford Scholars, an after-school student-care centre.

Chua Jun Xian, eight, and his sister, Xin Rou, five, lost their parents in a car crash on June 15 in Johor.

Mr Chua Keh Loing, 41, his wife, Madam Sam Chew Yong, 42, and the children were heading for Bahau, near Seremban, to visit Madam Sam's mother when their Perodua Myvi collided head-on with a multi-purpose vehicle.

The Malaysian couple, both accountants, had lived here for 10 years and were Singapore permanent residents.

Ms Tay, 33, has offered assistance to the family of the two young children.

"We provide after-school student care and one of our centres is located in Marsiling, near the boy's school.

"If the family is financially strapped, we are able to offer a place free of charge for the children during weekdays after school until 7pm."

 
 
 

Jun Xian attends Greenwood Primary School.

In an earlier report, its principal Cheryl Foo told The New Paper that the school has offered the family support and assistance.

Other people have also come forward to offer help, including one law firm and two legal professionals, all of whom preferred to remain anonymous.

TNP spoke to experts about the issues the children may face down the road.

Said Dr Qu Li, a developmental psychologist: "The experience of the tragedy may influence the children physically, cognitively, (emotionally) and socially.

"These trying circumstances may result in symptoms that require large amounts of care and attention from their guardians.

"Physically, their bodies may still be on the alert, overly sensitive to noises and lights associated with vehicles.

"They may cling to their guardians and become overly anxious and agitated if the guardians are out of sight."

Clinical psychologist Carol Balhetchet said trauma, if handled properly, will not necessarily stunt a child's emotional development.

She said: "The children need another adult to step in who is able to guide them through their emotions, to help them express and understand them.

"Eventually, it is empathy from those around them that the children will need most."