Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Its only now, after sharing Ngae's final journey with many people that I love, I feel I can finally write something.

I got the news late on Saturday night by SMS from my IM China buddy, Hoo. I started to shake, "whats wrong?" asked the wife. Made a few frantic phone calls to Joo Ngan to get more information. Hands still shaking, should I tell E? I could see her breaking down, so it was a no. Let someone else do it.
I couldn't sleep, my missus couldn't sleep, Joo Ngan also couldn't sleep. This was shocking news. I have never ever experienced anything like this. I have never had a close bereavement. This was a bereavement from a family that I cherish. I started Marathon running in 1984 with the Pacesetters from Bukit Aman. We saw each other 6 days a week. We were closer than family. I have always considered, initially runners and later Triathletes to be my closest family.


We were training buddies for IM MSIA 2006 & 2007. IM 2006 was the year Ngae embraced our wonderful sport. He called me "Sifu". He called me "brother". He told everyone at Bukit Aman (very loudly) that I was his sifu. He didn't tell anyone that I came in last at IM 2006. He was full of love. There was not an ounce of malice in him. He never ever bad mouthed anyone. He was just loud annoying love actually.

When he was fit, he was the first person I would call. "Brother, tomorrow Frasers ok?". We did that 200km ride just the two of us umpteen times. We did Genting (he ran barefoot after a mechanical problem). We went to PD (he slept on the beach with his daughter), swam for 2 hours in the strong sea current, then did the 65 km loop twice (just once for me). We had so many brick workouts in the heat at Ulu Langat. He waited for me every time on the run. We could run in the Kampongs and he would immediately endear himself to the locals.


He endeared himself to all races. He nearly married a Malay in Sarawak. The Baju Melayu was all done. Even Malays don't wear Sarongs to run or after their runs. He loved all races and they all loved him back.

I was distraught the first few days. My missus was even worse. "Don't show his picture", she said. So I took down my RIP post.

I saw E did a post around 7 am Sunday morning. It was too well written. The post was cob wash. It was written by an excellent writer, not by someone in grief. E's second post was different. That was written by someone in grief. I went like a cry baby "I can't handle this E", I cried.

When Ngae was fit, he was my closest buddy. When he was experiencing his darkness, I never went to him in return. This must never happen again. I must must go to his service and cremation. This was the last chance. I made arrangements at the office so I could go.


E smsed. Absolutely perfect. Its the first time we both attended this type of funeral. It was the first time I have seen a dead face. There was love, calmness and serenity all over the place. It was so nice to see so many family that I love. People that I have known since 1984, people that I am with more than my real family.

Joo Ngan and his mechanic, Dr Tan, Jason Thiang, Hoo, PM Tey, Juliana Ali (the only other Malay there I think), Wan Yew Leong, Pin Pin and daughter, Pacesetters runners, Paul Lee, Bruce Wan etc. Seeing so many people I love, gave me a relief, forgot that I was supposed to be distraught. No tears at all.

Fit looking lot (I would only spoil the picture)Ngae's Marathon Des Sable cert
Love and serenity
IM Hoo (a very very cheerful friend to have)


plee said...

And what a relief it is!
I was really struggling too but seeing all of you at his wake gave me great comfort.... we have each other and what an amazing family we have!!

Ngae lived his dreams and showed many others how they can live theirs too! That's his legacy.. will try to pass it on

sofiantriathlete said...

You also the same Paul...Was struggling but felt relief.

The Pacesetters family they always rally together when something happens.

You take care, it was nice to see you there.

Sophia said...

Hi sofian,

I noticed that simon ng is in one of the picture. I was an ex colleague of his back in 1995. When we left the company & went separate ways, we sort of lost touch. I came to know from your blog that he has relocated to sydney. Hope to get in touch with him via email.

sofiantriathlete said...

Hi Sophia,
Simon Ng Earn Tiong is not in any picture I think.
I did Hawaii with him in 1997. In 1995, we often trained together.

I did use to have his phone no, then I lost it. I don't have his e-mail.

Have you tried doing a FB search? If u want to discuss more, my e-mail is: