Sabah quake: I shouldn't have let my girl go, says dad of dead girl

Sabah quake: I shouldn't have let my girl go, says dad of dead girl
Peony Wee Ying Ping.

SINGAPORE - The father of the Singaporean pupil killed on top of Mount Kinabalu expressed regret in letting her join the school expedition.

"I should not have let her go," he said of Peony Wee Ying Ping, a Year Six pupil of Tanjong Katong Primary School (TKPS), who died after an earthquake hit Sabah on Friday.

The man, who only wished to be known as Wee, told Lianhe Wanbao that he had initially refused to let her go but gave in after she begged for it constantly.

"I was there 30 years ago and I know it is not easy to conquer the mountain, so I did not want to let her go at first," he said, adding that Peony would have sat for her Primary School Leaving Examination in two months time.

But he finally relented and paid S$600 (RM1,660) for the trip because he did not want to disappoint her.

"After all, there would be teachers looking after the children," he added.

The 51-year-old port staff said Peony flew to Sabah at 6.30am on Wednesday.

He said Peony, 12, was a good girl who would help her mother at her traditional Chinese medicine clinic whenever she was free.

He has two other children, a 14-year-old son and a one-year-old daughter.

"She loved her sister despite the age gap," he said, adding that Peony would take her sister to the playground whenever she could.

He said his daughter was "very active and loved outdoor activities". She was also a member of her school's netball team and was a student leader.

TKPS pupil Emyr Uzayr now finds it hard to close his eyes - not because he injured them during a school trip to Mount Kinabalu.

The 12-year-old is so traumatised by being injured during the earthquake that he has flashbacks of the incident.

He told his father Sadri Farick: "By closing my eyes, I keep seeing what I saw. It's so shocking and I cannot believe it."

Sadri said his son saw things "that I don't think I would like to describe" and Emyr did not want to close his eyes.

"It is very sad when my son asked about his missing friends," Sadri told The Straits Times.

Emyr, who suffered a fractured skull and injured his back, was moved out of intensive care to a normal ward at about 6pm yesterday after undergoing an operation at the Gleneagles Kota Kinabalu Hospital.

Emyr, who underwent a four-hour operation yesterday morning, was just regaining consciousness when Sadri, 37, and his 35-year-old wife arrived at the hospital at around 1.30pm.

"My wife is very close to my son. Of course she is very happy to see him alive," he said.

"Seeing him is the best thing in my life."

He said arrangements were being made to fly Emyr back to Singapore through an International SOS air ambulance today.

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