MCA man declines all offers to pay for family’s funeral

MCA president Liow Tiong Lai (second from right) consoling Lim Swee Bok. Lim lost his entire family in a fire yesterday morning.

GEORGE TOWN: An MCA youth leader who lost his mother, wife and two young children in a fire here yesterday has declined all offers to pay for his family’s funeral expenses.

Saying it was his obligation to take care of the funeral expenses, Tanjung MCA Youth chief Lim Swee Bok expressed regret that he did not give a direct answer when the Penang government and the MCA offered to foot the bill earlier.

The 36-year-old factory supervisor nevertheless said he appreciated the kind gestures by the state government and the MCA.

MCA leaders at Lim Swee Bok’s family wake at Macallum St Ghaut.

“Due to religious and cultural practices, please kindly allow me to take full responsibility and pay for the funeral expenses of my family.

“I am sorry and I hope to seek the understanding of everyone that I am committed to do whatever is necessary for the family I lost,” Swee Bok said when contacted.

He also thanked everyone for their concern and condolences.

“I have lost everything and I am in deep sorrow.

“I am thankful to all, including MCA comrades and leaders, who have contributed and helped out.”

An inconsolable Lim Swee Bok at a brief press conference with MCA president Liow Tiong Lai this morning.

Yesterday, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng visited Swee Bok, offering him RM3,500 in the form of a “condolence contribution”, while DAP assemblyman Lau Keng Ee donated RM2,000.

Guan Eng also said the Penang government would take care of the funeral expenses.

Later in the day, MCA Youth chief Chong Sin Woon said the party would bear the costs of the funeral.

This morning, MCA president Liow Tiong Lai and his deputy Wee Ka Siong paid their last respects at the wake for Swee Bok’s family at Sri Saujana Flats, Macallum St Ghaut, here.

In the 6am tragedy yesterday, a fire broke out at Swee Bok’s house in Pintasan Cecil 5 off Cecil St Ghaut, killing his mother Lau Sai Poh, 62, wife Chen Yen, 35, son Lim Yin Chun, 9, and daughter Lim Jia Yiin, 8.

Swee Bok was working the midnight shift at the time of the fire. He also lost his father to cancer about two weeks ago.