I learnt of his sudden demise on 27 Feb while he was on short term visit at his ailing sister's place in Kuala Lumpur. According to unconfirmed sources received, he was found laying on the floor at his sister's place for 3 days before he was found and rushed to the hospital. His own ailing sister, already in her 90s and suffering from dementia is staying at a nursing home.
A classmate, Ragu who has been his closest companion in all these years has been receiving calls from his friends in KL checking on his will which seems to the main interest for them now. He was single and his only kin, his ailing sister who is also suffering from dementia remains easy target from his friends keen on getting a slice of his estate. Hearing this is sick to the stomach.
I remember him as one generous man, so generous that he almost spent his entire fortune away, slowly but surely enriching some of his old teaching friends who schemed to cheat his pension monies till deleted. He was naive or perhaps too naive and he fell into their traps. He was left pennyless, living a life like a vagabond until some 2 years ago, his house which was his only asset was sold en-bloc to a property developer. He was lucky to be given another lifeline, and the proceeed he gained, bought him a decent 4-room flat in Pasir Ris and sufficient cash to last him a long while. This time around, I was told he was more careful with his money. However, it was shortlived.
His body is still in the mortuary in KL under the charge of Singapore embassy. Ragu who is not his kin but he will be the authorised person to claim his body for us to perform a last ritual for him once the documentation process is done. Some of our classmates and an old teaching friend of his will make a trip to KL this weekend to see to the whole process. This is the least we can do for him and hope he will rest in peace. He is aged 72 going 73. Good bye, Mr Samuel.