Mall explosion victim’s father plans to move into new house after ghost month

The living room and kitchen area in Tchee’s new house.

By Nancy Nais and Lian Cheng

KUCHING, July 25: Tchee Foh Hin, whose son Kian Jong was killed in the CityOne Megamall explosion on Dec 4 last year, plans to move into his new house in September.

Although he will receive the keys to his house tomorrow (July 26), Tchee said moving house is an significant event so it was important to choose an auspicious date to do so instead of simply moving in because the house was ready.

Tchee’s three-bedroom house, including one kitchen, one bathroom and living room at Stampin Baru Resettlement Scheme is finally completed, after a slight delay due to unexpected ground conditions.

He said according to the Chinese Lunar calendar, the Sixth Month is coming to an end while the Seventh Month is about to begin. Many Chinese observe the Seventh Month (which is August this year) as the Ghost Month which is not considered suitable for making any major changes in life such as moving house. Thus, Tchee has decided to move into his new house at a later date.

“I will follow the Chinese calendar; it means moving into the new house in September,” he told DayakDaily today.

The front of Tchee’s new house at Stampin Baru Resettlement Scheme.
The back of Tchee’s new house.

Tchee, who is getting around with crutches and staying in his current dilapidated house nearby, said he viewed his new house a few days ago and he was aware of the handling over of keys tomorrow.

“I am very grateful to everyone, from Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), Democratic Action Party (DAP), non-governmental organisations (NGOs), private companies, caring members of the public and my neighbours, who have helped me in one way or another.

“I didn’t come up with a single sen for the house nor the land. Therefore I have no complaints whatsoever with regards to the size, interior or exterior conditions because this is a gift from all parties involved, regardless of political standing, status, race or religion,” he said, adding that he would never be able to afford it on his own.

Although Tchee looked forward to move into a better and safer house, he still felt somewhat heavy-hearted to leave his current house.

“My late wife and I lived in this old house for over 20 years. My three sons grew up in this house. Although it is old and ramshackle, this is the place that has been providing us shelter for so many years.”

He was also concerned about whether he could ask for immediate help in the new neighbourhood like what he is getting now.

“My neighbour here (near his current house) is very helpful. Whenever I need help, I only have to call out to them and they will come to help me. Everyday my next door neighbour will assist me by walking me to the bathroom for my shower.

“Another neighbour helps by delivering lunch for me everyday. This has been going on for the last two to three years. I am not sure if I can get such kind of help at the new house,” said Tchee. — DayakDaily