Portrait of an artist through friends' eyes

Portrait of an artist through friends' eyes
APPLE OF HER EYE: Madam Gan's son Victor Lim, with an unidentified woman, arriving at the Singapore General Hospital mortuary yesterday to identify her body. According to friends, he was very close to his mother(inset).

SINGAPORE - Just a day before she was allegedly murdered, porcelain artist Nancy Gan Wan Geok was wondering whether she would attend the Bone Marrow Donor Programme's fund-raising gala in May.

And the deciding factor, it seems, was the cast on her left wrist, which she got from falling at Botanic Gardens. It was to be removed in the middle of next month.

A friend of hers told MyPaper: "She said: 'If my cast is still on, I think I won't come. Friends might want to write on it, and I don't want that. I am conservative'."

The decision was taken out of her hands. Madam Gan, 69, was found dead in the swimming pool of her bungalow in Victoria Park Road in Bukit Timah on Wednesday morning.

Her Indonesian maid, Dewi Sukowati, was charged yesterday with murdering her. Dressed in a red polo T-shirt and sporting short dyed hair, the 23-year-old remained expressionless as the charges were read to her.

She will be remanded at Changi Women's Prison for three weeks for psychiatric assessment. She arrived here only recently and Madam Gan's is believed to be the first home she has worked at.

Lawyer Mohamed Muzammil, who was instructed by the Indonesian Embassy here to represent her, said that she is from a village called Pati in Central Java, and that the embassy is trying to get more information on her.

Yesterday, Madam Gan's son, Mr Victor Lim, was at the Singapore General Hospital mortuary to identify her body. He had been overseas on a work trip and returned to Singapore upon hearing the news.

Mr Lim was the "apple of her eye".

Another friend said that the pair were very close because she spent a lot of time bringing him up as a single mother. They also went on holidays together.

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