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Monday, January 16, 2012

Kiss on New Year's Day was their last

Sulaiman Kamal | 4:49 AM | | | Best Blogger Tips

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It was the morning of the New Year, and he kissed his wife goodbye like he always did before embarking on a motorcycle trip with friends.

It would be the last kiss they would share.

Mr Tan Theng Siet, 53, died after the motorcycle he was riding skidded on the road to Mersing, Johor.

The accident happened on Jan 1 while Mr Tan was on his way to Mersing with several friends.

His wife, Madam Shirley Lim, 46, told Shin Min Daily News that the bike enthusiast owned more than five motorcycles and made long-distance trips to neighbouring countries with friends and fellow bikers up to twice a month.

So when she first got the call about the accident, she was expecting him to have been injured, like he had been the last time she received such a call.

Madam Lim said that the friends who had gone on the trip informed her of the accident and told her to be prepared for the worst.

She said: "Two years ago, he called me to tell me that he had broken some bones and wanted me to accompany him to the hospital after returning from a bike trip to Malaysia. So this time (when I heard the news), I assumed that he had similar injuries."

But this time, Mr Tan died in the accident.

She said that her husband, a car dealer, was familiar with the route - so much so that he had once pointed out its hazard points to her when they travelled together.


Madam Lim added that though her husband's hobby made her worry for his safety, she did not force him to stop riding as he was passionate about it.

They have been married for 18 years and have four children between the ages of nine and 17.

She said in Mandarin: "As we grew older and started building a family together, he cut back a lot on the number of his bike trips.

"Moreover, he always treated riding very seriously and often even advised younger motorcyclists to take note of safety."

Madam Lim also revealed that her husband was an avid cook.

He worked as an apprentice at a chalet in the US when he was in his 30s and lived there for about eight years, she said.

Mr Tan, who is the fourth of seven children, became a car dealer not long after returning to Singapore.

One of his younger brothers said that their family was very close-knit and that Mr Tan was kind and caring by nature.

Shin Min also reported that the jovial and friendly Mr Tan was so well-liked that more than 200 of his biking enthusiast friends turned up at his wake to pay their last respects.

One of his long-time friends, Mr Liu, said Mr Tan was very well-loved by his circle of friends and that they were shocked and deeply grieved by his passing.

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