Happy reunion for 'Sheng Siong Ah Ma'

SINGAPORE - With her hair dyed red, the elderly woman spoke excitedly with her sons and grandchildren.

Her outfit of a red blouse with leopard prints, cat print socks and red nail polish suggested she was welcoming Chinese New Year.

It was her family's weekly reunion dinner, but with a difference.

Just last Wednesday, the "Sheng Siong Ah Ma" had been bound and blindfolded by kidnappers. She was released after 12 hours.

Since then, Madam Ng Lai Poh, 79, has not left the Hougang house she shares with her son, Sheng Siong chief executive Lim Hock Chee, 52, and his family.

But on Jan 11, her extended family came to her.

Her eldest son, Mr Lim Hock Eng, 53, told Lianhe Wanbao it was the family's practice to get together every Saturday.

"Of all the days of the week, this is the one my mother most looks forward to," he said.

According to a Lianhe Wanbao report, third son Mr Lim Hock Leng, 49, arrived at about 4pm.

His wife and two daughters arrived about an hour later, followed by Mr Lim Hock Eng, who had with him a large box of red packets. He said these were for his mother to use in the upcoming Chinese New Year.

Inside the house, Madam Ng appeared delighted by the arrival of her children and grandchildren, and couldn't stop speaking with them. She also smiled and nodded at reporters.

The three generations gathered and chatted about the dinner table. A meal of eggplant with minced meat, prawns with chye sim, smoked duck, fried chicken wings, fried fish, vegetables with fungus, and soup was laid before them.

Her sons and their wives were seen picking out food for her.

"She likes eggplant best," Mr Lim Hock Eng said, putting some in her bowl. In return, Madam Ng appeared to eat heartily.

And as The Sheng Siong Show was being screened that night, two of her sons later rushed off to where it was being filmed to hand out prizes.


Donations offered to alleged kidnapper's mother

His mother was the one who was kidnapped. But the mother of the alleged kidnapper may face greater difficulty than mine, said Sheng Siong chief executive Lim Hock Chee of the parent of Lee Sze Yong, 41.

Lee has been charged with abducting Mr Lim's mother last Wednesday, between 10.30am and 1.20pm, at Hougang Avenue 2.

His accomplice, Heng Chen Boon, 50, is accused of helping him confine Madam Ng in a vehicle between 8.30pm and midnight.

Lee allegedly lured the elderly woman into a white car, before transferring her to another white car.

The alleged kidnappers then used a Malaysian prepaid card to communicate with Mr Lim.

One of the two cars used - a Volkswagen Scirocco - is understood to be under Lee's name, Lianhe Wanbao reported.

The other car, a Honda Civic, was rented. Lee was not caught when he was returning the car.


When Lee and Heng were charged last Friday, Lee's mother, who is known as Madam Seow, was initially open to interviews from the press.

Both men had been living with her for more than 10 years at Hougang Street 51 and she reportedly described the men's relationship as that of "close friends".

On Saturday, Madam Seow was observed by reporters to be keeping her door shut. She also did not pick up the phone when it rang on three occasions.

Following media reports of Madam Seow losing her only source of support - her son, and the man she reportedly came to accept as her godson - two men have contacted Shin Min Daily News offering to donate to her, the Chinese daily reported on Jan 12.

One has offered to take Chinese New Year goods and other necessities to her and another has offered a $2,000 red packet.