by chan li leen
TELUK INTAN: Couple Ngou Yeow Hock and Tan Bee Choo, who were killed in a hit-and-run accident, might have been homeless but their undying devotion to each other was a symbol of love and an inspiration to many.
Going about their own business collecting recyclable items with their tricycle, they were known to be a happy and loving couple despite being intellectually challenged.
Clerk Mary Ng, 70, said the 51-year-old Ngou and Tan, 52, went everywhere together.
“They were always laughing and in a world of their own. They offered each other their food, scooping spoonfuls onto each other’s polystyrene boxes,” said Ng.
It was common to see Tan wiping the sweat off her husband’s face as they waited for the traffic lights to turn green.
“It always put a smile on my face watching them. It’s so sad that they were taken away so tragically,” said Ng.
On Tuesday, a vehicle, believed to be a lorry, ploughed into Ngou and Tan as they were crossing a T-junction on their tricycle at KM3.5 of Jalan Maharajalela here, killing the couple instantly.
There has since been an outpouring of shock and grief among the local community.
Teacher Ahmad Faizal Osman, 47, who wrote a tribute to the couple on Facebook, told The Star that the pair had lived with dignity, never accepting donations.
“I have friends who offered Aunty money but she gave it back to my friends’ children. Once, another friend met Aunty at the bakery.
“She was so happy to see and play with my friend’s child. She even gave the girl RM1,” said Ahmad Faizal, adding that their hard work and determination ought to be emulated.
“Many times, Aunty fell from the tricycle and once, she was even warded at the Teluk Intan Hospital after receiving stitches to her head,” he said.
The couple, said Ahmad Faizal, usually showered at the hospital or the Petronas station near the accident scene.
At night, they could be seen sleeping near the 7-Eleven outlet in Bandar Baru.
Despite having almost no possessions, the couple were charitable, he said, adding that Ngou had once refused money when he offered to buy some boxes.
“I tried again to offer him money but he wouldn’t accept it and so at last, I bought a few canned drinks and placed them on his tricycle,” said Ahmad Faizal.
Businessman Robin De Silva said despite the hardship, the couple always wore smiles.
“They were quite an inspiration for our family because though homeless, they were still happy,” said De Silva, adding that the couple’s children used to go around with them on the tricycle when they were young.
Yesterday, the couple’s three sons, one of whom has been adopted by a relative, bid them a final farewell as their remains were cremated.
It is believed that the couple had a daughter, who died at a young age after falling from the tricycle.
Hilir Perak OCPD Asst Comm Wan Hassan Wan Ahmad said no arrests have been made so far, adding that investigations were ongoing. – The Star Online