Friend took photos at races for Kwek scion

It was his interest in photography that drove him across the border.

Friends of Mr Franco Toh who went to his wake yesterday said that the 43-year-old would sometimes accompany Kwek family scion Kon Chun to Malaysia to photograph him while he raced.

The duo were killed on Sunday morning after Mr Kwek lost control of his Porsche 911 Turbo and crashed into a road divider on the Kuala Lumpur-Seremban Expressway. Hours earlier, he had won a drag race at Sepang with the same car.

"He's (Mr Toh) gone up a few times to take photos (for Mr Kwek)," said Mr Lee Wyman, 34, who manages nightclub Neverland II.

It is one of the stable of nightclubs run by Neverland Group, co-owned by the late Mr Kwek - the son of Mr Kwek Leng Keow, managing director of Hong Realty, and nephew of tycoon Kwek Leng Beng.

Mr Toh was the regional marketing director for the Neverland Group.

"He liked to watch the races too but photography was what he was passionate about," added Mr Lee while at the wake at Sin Ming Drive. Mr Toh was well known in the entertainment industry and has photographed popular acts like local band Electrico.

Three of Mr Toh's uncles, his younger sister and a family friend spoke to those who attended the wake yesterday. Mr Toh will be cremated tomorrow morning.

His uncle Raymond Toh said the younger Mr Toh had lived in Singapore with another uncle since the 1970s, when he was just a child. "He was born in Hong Kong, but he was raised here," he said.

One of Mr Toh's army buddies, who declined to be named, said he often went out of his way to help friends.

"Back in army, I was a regimental policeman and he was a manpower clerk, but every time we had to send someone into detention, he would come down and help," said the 40-year-old.

After army, Mr Toh struck out as a photographer and eventually made a name for himself. About five years ago, he joined Neverland Group.

Last night, veteran local mandopop band Queen Inc paid tribute to Mr Toh and Mr Kwek, performing a number of their favourite songs at nightclub Sonar.

"Our hearts are greatly saddened by their untimely departure," said guitarist Deehellsix Xie.

"Words cannot even begin to express our sorrow for the profound loss."

This article was first published on November 12, 2014.
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