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Friday, 28 October 2011

Man dies on bus






H
ER brother had died.
But the words didn't register in her mind when she was first told the shocking news.
Housewife Ho Siew Eng, 73, first thought he had gone on a holiday.
But her younger brother Ho Soo Kim, 62, had actually collapsed suddenly and died on a bus on Monday evening.
Madam Ho found out what happened when one of her younger brothers called that night.
She said: "My brother told me Soo Kim had 'gone'. I asked him, 'Gone where?' He didn't answer at first, so I thought Soo Kim had gone for a walk, or for a holiday.

"Then he told me. I was so shocked."
She last saw Mr Ho and their five other siblings on Saturday, when they had a family gathering. He seemed hale and hearty then.
She said: "He was laughing, joking, and playing with his nieces and nephews as per normal. They love him very much.
"His death came so suddenly to all of us. I wish I could ask him, 'Why did you go so soon?'"
Charity work
Mr Ho, who is single, used to help out three times a week at the Red Swastika Charity Foundation in Tampines. He is a certified Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner, said Madam Ho.
On Monday evening, he had left home at 5.30pm and was on his way to Tampines as usual.
A witness said Mr Ho had sat in a seat in front of him on the upper deck of a double-decker SBS bus service number 8.
He saw Mr Ho having difficulty breathing, and then collapsing. That was when he informed the bus driver and called the police.
The police spokesman said they received a call at about 6.10pm requesting for assistance along Ubi Avenue 2, near A-Z Building.
By the time they arrived, Mr Ho had already been pronounced dead by paramedics at the scene.
The police have classified the case as an unnatural death and investigations are ongoing.
Mr Ho's siblings have no idea what could have happened to him.
The New Paper met Madam Ho and one of Mr Ho's younger brothers, odd-job worker S Y Ho, 51, at the wake in a funeral parlour at Sin Ming Drive yesterday.
They said Mr Ho Soo Kim had never been hospitalised in his life.
But he did have high blood pressure, and had been complaining over the last few weeks of chest pains and dizziness.
Said Mr S Y Ho, who is also single: "We figured that since he did TCM, he would know how to take care of himself. But we know he did go to a doctor recently and took medicine for high blood pressure."
He and the older Mr Ho shared a rented three-room flat in Potong Pasir.
Now that his brother has died, Mr Ho is unsure if he will stay on in the unit. The flat holds many memories for him.
He said he would cook simple meals of fish and vegetables for the two of them, and after dinner, they would relax.
"We would watch television programmes, listen to music, or read. Soo Kim really liked reading up on the latest TCM techniques," he said.
He added that although his brother was only a PSLE graduate, his keen interest in TCM led him to do "a lot of self-studying" and he eventually became a certified TCM practitioner and volunteered at the Red Swastika Charity Foundation.
But Mr S Y Ho also said that said his brother had not been an ambitious man.
"He was easily contented and happy that we led a simple life. He never asked for much," he said. He was the first among the Ho siblings to be told of his brother's death.
He received the call from the police at about 8pm on Monday, as he was watching a television programme.
"I was at first stunned, and then very, very sad. It's painful. I wasn't prepared for him to go. He didn't even leave any instructions on how he wanted his send off," he said.
Later that night, he also received calls from several of his brother's regular patients from the Red Swastika Charity Foundation.
They wanted to know why Mr Ho didn't show up, especially since he was "the responsible sort".
"When I told them what happened, they couldn't believe it. I still can't either," he said. 

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