Music maestro Ooi’s family suffers another blow

A story of true love: Elaine at the KL Lake Gardens with Ooi (left) and Chin Seng during the Chinese New Year holidays last year. (Ooi family pic)

PETALING JAYA: The family of ailing Ooi Eow Jin, once known as the “Piano Man”, has suffered another devastating blow.

Ooi, 84, and his 56-year-old son are both bed-ridden.

He is in a losing fight with Alzheimer’s disease, while his son Chin Seng has a brain tumour which has grown bigger and caused a loss of vision.

Ooi’s wife Elaine, 82, is looking after both men, with the help of a care-giver, at their home in Taman SEA here.

Elaine said surgery for Chin Seng would cost RM65,000 to remove the tumour which had grown bigger since he underwent a medical procedure three years ago.

“My husband is on baby food, and his condition is getting worse,” she added.

Elaine hoped her son’s surgery could be done soonest.

Chin Seng was diagnosed with a brain tumour 40 years ago at the age of 14.

Her husband, whose name was synonymous with the Radio Television Malaysia (RTM) Orchestra as a composer-songwriter in the 1960s and 70s, has suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease since 2015.

Even at age 82, Elaine tirelessly looks after her ailing husband and son.

Elaine has, over the years, shown great dedication in taking care of both men. She sold cookies to pay for their treatment but stopped two years because of her age.

“We now rely on donations and are thankful for the assistance we have received,” she said.

Many people and organisations from all segments of the arts field have rallied to Ooi’s aid since 2015 by holding charity events.

Ooi’s illustrious career might have spanned four decades from the 1960s, but he is often regarded as the forgotten man of music.

He had collaborated with entertainers such P Ramlee, Sudirman Arshad, Rafeah Buang, M Nasir, Salamiah Hassan, Francis Yip and the Alleycats.

His was resident pianist in Majestic Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, for five years until the illness forced him to quit in 2015.

The public can assist Elaine by making a donation by direct deposit into her bank account: Khaw Lean Kee, Maybank Account 1626 8302 3797.

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