Missing Our Dad


We remember when we were kids, our only food sometimes was rice or porridge with soya sauce or one or two small slices of preserved bean curds.

Our quality of life did not improve until in the mid 1970s when dad started to venture far taking up small contracts to clear jungles by felling trees with his chain-saws. Our two elder sisters by this time were also earning more by tapping rubber. We also helped out after we reached 11 or 12 years old by going to the rubber estates early in the morning about 4.30am and then came home around 6.30am to prepare to go to school. We had to cycle in the dark with kerosene headlamps lighting up the paths.

Dad's job was an extremely dangerous one. A few of his team mates had been killed by fallen trees. He would go as far as Kota Tinggi and Pahang, and each trip would be about 1 to 2 months living in the jungles. Domestic affairs were left to mum. We recall how happy  we were whenever the taxi pulled up in front of the house with his tools including cooking utensils. It meant dad had come home. But when he had to leave again for new assignments, we felt sad and became to worry for his safety again. But the Good Lord had watched over him during his 15 years of working as a logger, even though he had suffered some injuries here and there but they were minor.

Dad was always held in high regard by his co-workers and employers. Recently, some of his old employers paid tribute to our dad as someone who was extremely honest and hardworking. He was only concerned with doing a good job and finishing it on time. He does not smoke, drink or gamble let alone indulging in unfruitful activities. Whilst his other friends would spend their time in coffee-shops while waiting for the next assignment to come, dad spent his in his rubber plantation placing fertilisers and spraying paraquat to keep the plantation free from weeds and lalang. In mid-1970s, he was able to purchase another piece of rubber plantation measuring about 6 acres.

His toil and sweat provided much comfort for all of us. If he had insufficient funds to pay for our education, he would either borrow from close relatives or raise it through tontines. He was always quick in settling his debts.  When his second son went to England to read law in the early 1980s, he had no hesitation to sell the land he first acquired in 1958 to part finance his education much to the chagrin of some old relatives as he considered this to be  a better investment. Alas, part of the proceeds of the sale kept at a cooperative bank were frozen for years. Thanks to the financial support from his younger  daughters and a  son-in-law, his son managed to finish his law studies. 

With the sale of the property, dad and mum were finally able to fulfil their life-long wish to visit China again. Finally in 1983, they visited their hometown in  China after obtaining permission from the Malaysian government. It was their first trip back to their motherland after 1947.           







Dad's 80th Birthday Celebration Dinner

Dad was an extremely filial son as well as a dutiful brother to his siblings. Though earning a meagre income, he would always make it  a point to remit monies home for his dad and siblings. He continued doing that until his disappearance and even after grandfather's death in 1977. We recall when he received news that grandad had passed away, it was also the first time we saw dad cry.  Therefore the 1983 trip meant a lot to him because he had always wanted to make this "pilgrimage" to fulfil his wish and duty of paying his belated respects to his departed parents. A duty no doubt he fulfilled with admiration  by collecting the relics of his late parents and had them buried with a beautiful tomb erected in memory of them.

Perhaps dad is best remembered as someone who, unlike his other migrant friends from China, emphasised a lot on education. He would do anything to ensure that we had a good education even though mum would sometimes grumble that we should just  stop studying and come out to work so that dad now in his 60s could retire.  And whenever mum did that, she would be chided by dad for being short-sighted. He knew the disadvantages of not being educated. Knowing how hard a life he had to go through as a labourer and then a logger, dad always instilled in us the importance of excelling in our studies.

Dad did not retire until he reached 71.  After his retirement and with all of us now grown up, we were able to spend quality time with him, showering him with our love and gifts and which memories we now cherish fondly. But it's not just dad to sit around doing nothing. Despite having stopped work as a logger and that also was done at our insistence, dad continued to go to his only rubber plantation on his old faithful 25-year-old motor-cycle every morning until his disappearance.

Today, we want the whole world to know that we are not who and what we are if not for our beloved dad. Our story that we tell here will be told to our children and our children's children.

It was no easy task for him, but dad did it. Though we are not rich, our lives have been enriched by him. He taught us honesty, hard work and filial piety. Many a time, the mere thought of what our dad went through to bring us up would always provide us the much-needed jolt to remind us how blessed we are because of him.

We obviously grieve over our dad's disappearance. Most  of our siblings would not even bear to visit this site or read about dad's disappearance as each time our tears would flow uncontrollably when we think about it. The feeling is of course unbearable as we do not know whether dad is still alive or not.

But tribute we must pay to this outstanding man whom we owe him our lives. That said, this site will bear testimony to the world of what a great dad we have.  The toil and sweat he had put in would not be in vain. Because of him, all his grandchildren are now able to receive tertiary education. Every drop of his sweat under the hot sun has now produced lawyers, doctors, accountants, engineers and a pilot in a family brought up by a man deprived of everything but gave his all to his family.

We are eternally grateful to you Dad. You will always be in our hearts forever.

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