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Thursday, October 4, 2012

AdilanClub: Faithful wife in a shameful tale

Sulaiman Kamal | 3:28 AM | | Best Blogger Tips

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She sits quietly in the gallery, her hands clasped together, as if to keep herself composed and calm.

Other than Madam Yap Yen Yen, 44, the first row of eight seats in the packed Court 5 during the past week is usually filled by family members and friends of Ng Boon Gay.

They seem to form a pillar of support and strength for Madam Yap, as she listens intently each day to the testimony of prosecution star witness Cecilia Sue Siew Nang.

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She rarely speaks.

And when she does, she usually leans forward to the person, as if to whisper.

At times, she approaches her husband as he stands waiting in front of the dock before order is called.

Her hand on his arm, she speaks and Ng leans down.

She is about a head shorter than Ng.

She was edgy for most of the first two days of the trial, when Ms Sue recounted the various acts of oral sex with her husband.

On the third day, she seemed more composed and impassive.

Most times, she looks intently, expressionless, at the witness taking the stand.

In contrast, her family members and friends don't bother to hide their emotions.

They eyeball Ms Sue, they roll their eyes at some of her statements and show a variety of expressions.

Outside the courtroom, queues of people - mostly men - are waiting to get in.

When those who have filled the rest of the 32 seats in the gallery leave the court, they share their views and thoughts openly.

One of them is Madam Anita Ho, a housewife, who had travelled from her four-room HDB flat in Sengkang by MRT early Friday morning.

Madam Ho, 49, says in a mix of English and Mandarin: "I had to leave home very early because I read that more and more people have turned up at the hearing."

She admits that she is "a busybody" there for the entertainment, and says unabashedly that she finds it "even more exciting and dramatic than the Korean or Hong Kong TV serials".

Undergraduate Kelly Tan, 24, pleads that we do not name her university.

She says: "I skipped classes this morning when I found out that it was going to be Cecilia Sue's last day in court."

It turns out, however, that Ms Sue is expected to take the stand again on Monday.

Miss Tan says: "I've been devouring everything I can get in the newspapers - yes, even the Chinese dailies - and also on the Internet.

"The sessions seemed really exciting, and I felt that it'd be good to experience it first-hand."

But Miss Tan, who had reached the Subordinate Court at about 9.45am, had to wait till after the lunch break to be allowed in.

She says: "Thankfully, I managed to get in. Otherwise, I would have been so upset."

The first thing that Mrs Quek Lishi, 40, a property agent, did when she walked out of the courtroom for the lunch break was to call her sister.

She says later: "Wah, it's really exciting. I'm glad that I decided to come. I nearly changed my mind when my sister said she couldn't make it."

Mrs Quek admits that she also wanted to see "if the woman (Ms Sue) is really as pretty in person".

But inside the room, all she could do was "keep looking" at Madam Yap.

Mrs Quek, who is married and has a one-year-old son, says: "I think it's really brave of the wife to turn up every day to show her support for her husband. It's not easy for a woman to have to hear details of her husband's misbehaviour."

And that really is what seems to strike most of the 40 women that this columnist spoke to over the past three days.

The interviews were done outside the court on Friday and at hawker centres in Toa Payoh, Ang Mo Kio and Bishan.

Mrs Sharinah Faud, 47, a mother of two teenage girls, says: "I think the media (glare) on the case is quite strong. And yet the wife shows up every day. I would not have been able to do the same."

Ms Veronica Sng, 30, a freelance artist, is piqued by the details that have emerged.

She says: "Reading the reports, I'm so amazed... I don't recall another case with such sizzling details."

Madam Wu Cuicui, 40, a chicken rice seller, wants to know something totally unrelated.

She asks in Mandarin: "How come you don't have pictures of the wife smiling?

"Not that she has any reason to smile lah, but I feel she looks too fierce in all the photos."

Indeed, that's exactly what I had a glimpse of: Madam Yap smiling.

The New Paper's news reporter had approached her for some comments when she was in the gallery, minutes before the afternoon session was to start on Friday.

Madam Yap, while surprised at first, does not turn nasty.

She lets down her guard with a beautiful smile lighting up her face, even as she declines to comment.

It was a gentle, welcome gesture amid three days of dirty linen being aired in court.

And it underscored her courage in faithfully showing up by Ng's side every day, in stoic support.

Her gentle and unwavering support for her unfaithful husband has drawn much admiration


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