Singaporean youth who died in Johor Baru accident was a 'selfless, filial son'

Justinian Tan was hit by a car, sustained severe injuries, and died around 12.30am at Singapore General Hospital on Aug 30 when he was taken off life support. PHOTO: JASLENE TAN
Justinian Tan, 24, (third from left), seen here with his friends having supper in Johor Bahru before the accident. PHOTO: COURTESY OF JOSHUA DE ROZARIO

SINGAPORE - A family member described Singaporean Justinian Tan, who was killed as a result of a pre-dawn accident in Johor Baru (JB) last Friday (Aug 25), as a filial son who took on part-time jobs while studying to relieve their parents' financial burden.

Mr Tan's sister, 29-year-old Jaslene Tan, said her brother never once talked back to their parents.

Mr Tan, 24, was in JB with Mr Joshua De Rozario and four other friends from their primary school for supper when the accounting student of private school Kaplan was hit by a car.

He sustained severe injuries, and was sent to the Sultan Aminah Hospital in Johor Baru. He was there for about five hours before he was transferred to Singapore General Hospital. On Aug 30, he died around 12.30am when he was taken off life support.

Speaking to The Straits Times at Mr Tan's wake in Serangoon on Thursday (Aug 31) night, Mr De Rozario, said the driver did not stop to help after the accident.

"(Justinian) was flung about 20 metres away from our car. It looked like the driver had lost control and swerved," added the undergraduate.

With the help of a group of about 50 passers-by, they called the police and an ambulance. They also got in contact with Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).

Mr De Rozario said that it took about five hours to get a medical prognosis at the Sultanah Aminah Hospital in JB.

Eventually, with MFA's help, Mr De Rozario and Mr Tan returned to Singapore in a private ambulance later that afternoon. But doctors at SGH said that too much time had passed since the accident, and Mr Tan, who suffered a concussion, was pronounced brain dead on Aug 27.

The driver later reported the accident to the Malaysian police, said Mr De Rozario, but he has not heard if anyone has been arrested or charged. Attempts by The Straits Times to reach the police in JB were unsuccessful.

Ms Tan said that her younger brother - the third of four children in the family - was a selfless person who would often sacrifice his own time to help others.

"He took on part-time jobs as a waiter and Uber driver because he felt bad about taking allowance from our parents. He wanted to become an accountant and take care of our parents after graduating."

Mr De Rozario said that they hope to hear the outcome of investigations in Malaysia soon. "No matter what we do, we can't bring Justinian back, but we just want to have a sense of closure."

Mr Tan will be cremated at the Mandai Crematorium on Friday (Sept 1) afternoon.

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