Popiah King's son dies in Kuala Lumpur at 43

Left: VIPs and celebrities paid their respects at Mr Ben Goi's funeral wake at his home in Bukit Timah. Above: Mr Goi married former Mediacorp actress Tracy Lee in 2017.
VIPs and celebrities paid their respects at Mr Ben Goi's funeral wake at his home in Bukit Timah.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Left: VIPs and celebrities paid their respects at Mr Ben Goi's funeral wake at his home in Bukit Timah. Above: Mr Goi married former Mediacorp actress Tracy Lee in 2017.
Mr Goi married former Mediacorp actress Tracy Lee in 2017.PHOTO: TRACY LEE/INSTAGRAM

Businessman who married former television actress died on Sunday

Businessman Ben Goi, son of Popiah King Sam Goi, died in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday morning. He was 43.

His body was brought back to Singapore on Sunday night, Channel 8 reported yesterday. The cremation will be at Mandai Crematorium on Thursday morning.

Several public figures paid their respects at the wake, which is being held at Mr Goi's home in Bukit Timah.

They included ministers Heng Swee Keat, Vivian Balakrishnan, Masagos Zulkifli and Josephine Teo. Former foreign minister George Yeo was also there.

Mr Heng, who left the wake around 4pm, said he did not know the late Mr Goi personally but knew the elder Mr Goi.

"It's very sad for his family. He just got married and has a kid," Mr Heng said. "It must be devastating for Sam and the family."

MP Teo Ser Luck described the news as heartbreaking. He got to know Mr Ben Goi when they were on a company board, and described him as "very friendly, a very nice guy".

Mr Ben Goi married Malaysia-born former TV actress Tracy Lee in 2017 in a wedding which was widely covered in the media.

He was the chief operating officer of Tee Yih Jia, a food manufacturing business which his father Sam Goi expanded from a manufacturer of popiah - or spring roll - skin into a global Asian food company.

The younger Mr Goi also held other positions, including managing director of Montigo Resorts, and had worked in a number of other companies before.

Singapore artists, including Terence Cao, Chew Chor Meng and Zhu Houren, were seen at the wake. They declined to speak to reporters.

Ms Lee, 33, a former Mediacorp Star Search contestant, announced last May that she had given birth to their first child, a son.

In an Instagram post announcing the birth, Ms Lee wrote in Chinese: "I love you, my precious, I will love you and your father just as much... I don't ask for much, just that you grow up happily and healthily, and I will have no regrets."

Their wedding dinner at the Shangri-La Hotel in September 2017 made headlines. Guests included celebrities and VIPs such as former Singapore president Tony Tan Keng Yam and his wife, Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong and Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen.

Ms Lee acted in several Mediacorp productions but left show business after she chose not to renew her contract in 2015.

In a 2017 interview with local magazine 8Days, she said she met her husband through mutual friends in 2010, but the couple started dating only in 2016.

 
 
 

Mr Sam Goi, a father of four who is in his early 70s, was No. 14 on Forbes Singapore's 50 Richest 2018 list with an estimated fortune of US$1.8 billion (S$2.4 billion).

He was born in China's Fujian province and came to Singapore as a young boy but did not complete his secondary education. In 1977, he acquired Tee Yih Jia, then a small pastry factory, and designed an automated system to transform the company's operations.

The elder Mr Goi, who is also executive chairman of listed property developer GSH Corp, was on several government committees.

He was also active in grassroots work, and recently stepped down as chairman of the Ulu Pandan Citizens' Consultative Committee.

Last year, he was appointed Singapore's non-resident ambassador to Brazil.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 05, 2019, with the headline 'Popiah King's son dies in KL at 43'. Print Edition | Subscribe