ALOR SETAR - The mood was sombre when the late Datuk Tan Huat Seang was accompanied by hundreds of people on his final journey.
Relatives and friends converged at his house in Taman Golf here before the funeral ceremony started at about 10am.
The funeral was conducted in accordance with Taoist rites for the low-profile 59-year-old businessman who was described as a kind-hearted and friendly man.
Leaders of Chinese associations, construction industry players, non-governmental organisations, various school representatives and his employees, came to pay their last respects.
Among them were former Kedah police chief Senior Deputy Comm Datuk Ahmad Ibrahim and Kedah Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCCI) president Datuk Sunny Hoe Thean Sun.
Many offered their condolences and words of encouragement to family members.
Dressed in conventional Chinese funeral attire of white top and black pants, Tan's wife Datin Yee Sow Yen, 58, and their four children aged between 20 and 30 were seen putting up a strong front. Some relatives, however, could not hold back their tears during the prayers.
At about 11.30am, the hearse left the house for Prestavest Memorial Park in Kebun 500, Pokok Sena near here, for burial.
Three police outriders were seen leading the hearse and vehicles ferrying some 100 family members and friends to the memorial park.
Tan's body was cremated at the Nilai Memorial Park in Negri Sembilan on Sunday, which would have been his 59th birthday.
The urn containing his ashes was then flown back, arriving in Alor Setar at about 9.15pm and placed in a casket.
His wake was attended by, among others, the Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Hajah Haminah, Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, the Sultan of Kedah's principal private secretary Datuk Paduka Syed Unan Mashri Syed Abdullah, and politicians from Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat.
The condolence money received was donated by Tan's family to 16 organisations including schools, temples and Chinese associations.
Known as Ah Ee among Kedahans, Tan was the chief executive officer of SP Baiduri Sdn Bhd and the managing director of Lam Ho Enterprise Sdn Bhd.
Tan was the vice-chairman of the Kedah/Perlis Tan Si Eng Chuan Tong association, a member of KCCCI and also Kedah/Perlis Real Estate and Housing Developers Association.
He was among six people killed when the helicopter they were in went down in Kampung Pasir Baru, Semenyih, on Saturday.