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Wed, Feb 10, 2010
The New Paper
Her father did THIS

SHE felt as if her whole body was burning and was jolted out of her sleep.

But when Tan Hui Linn, 18, opened her eyes, she could not see a thing.

She heard her mother, Madam Cheong Swee Lin, 50, ask, "Why are you doing this?" but had no idea what was going on.

Later, the schoolgirl found out that her own father had attacked her and her mother with acid while they were fast asleep.

The incident, which took place at their Penang home on Jalan Batu Lanchang in the wee hours of 24 Oct last year, killed her mother and left Hui Linn badly scarred.

Her father, Tan Teik Swee, 53, a local government official, was charged with the murder of his wife and for causing grievous hurt to his daughter by splashing acid on her.

Recounting the events, Hui Linn told Nanyang Siang Pau that she did not notice anything unusual in her father's behaviour.

She went to bed in the same room as her mum and woke up in the middle of the night when she felt her whole body burning.

Hui Linn said calmly: "Dad threw acid twice that day. I couldn't see after the first time I was splashed. I didn't know it was dad who did it then.

"If I have the chance to meet my dad, I would ask him why he was so mean to me when he loved me most," she added.

HORRIFIC: The acid attack last October left Hui Linn with scars all over her body.

The incident has left angry scars on Hui Linn's face, arms and legs.

She was almost blinded in the attack.

After more than three months of rehabilitation, Hui Linn can now see nearby objects with her left eye.

She still cannot see with her right eye. Although Hui Linn's body still bears the scars from that night, she has since emerged from her terrible ordeal.

She said: "I want to lead a normal life."

During her interview with Nanyang Siang Pau, she was bubbly and laughed frequently.

She said that she felt depressed when she thought she would be blind. But when her vision started to recover, she became more hopeful.

"That period of time was very painful. I took almost a month to come to terms with my emotions. I believed what the doctor told me and my condition eventually improved."

"If I have the chance to meet my dad, I would ask him why he was so mean to me when he loved me most." - Hui Linn (above, with her uncle), who says that her spirits have risen since her vision started to return

Hui Linn, who was in Selangor for treatment, returned home to Penang on 31 Jan - the 100th day of her mum's death - so that she could pay her respects and celebrate Chinese New Year with her relatives and friends.

She said that her relatives initially kept news of her mother's death from her. They told her the truth after she kept asking them about it.

When she heard the bad news, Hui Linn said that she felt terrible and wanted to cry, but her family told her not to in case it aggravated her eye injuries.

Realising how hard it was for her relatives to have to cope with the loss and to have to hide the truth from her at the same time, she swallowed her tears.

What would she want to say to her mum?

"Mummy, sorry, I love you," she replied, adding that she used to talk back to her mother and felt she had let her down.

Hui Linn is now being taken care of by her uncle who has doted on her and looks after her like his own child.

She also depends on her elder brother for support.

Hui Linn still has to return to hospital on 17 Feb to undergo eye surgery, while her skin operation will be on 19 Mar.

However, she hopes to return to Penang on 17 Mar to celebrate her birthday with her friends.

Asked what present she would like to receive, she said: "Nothing really. Coming back to Penang is the best present I've received."

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