Widow upset by 'tribute walk' for husband

Mr Terence Chew Zhi Wei, was among three people who drowned when a submerging trial for a submersible barge in Batam went wrong on 18 July 2014.

The widow of a marketing executive who drowned when the barge he was working on sank has spoken of her disappointment at not being invited to a charity walk held in his honour yesterday morning.

PACC Offshore Services Holdings (Posh) organised the 4km Southern Ridges trek "in memory of" Singaporean Terence Chew, 32, and his colleague Ye Myint Myat, 33, from Myanmar, who died when a semi-submersible barge trial went wrong off Batam in July.

Ms Pearlene Lim, 30, said she was not consulted about the event and heard about it only from her late husband's parents.

The psychology student said: "The event itself is meaningful, but Posh didn't involve me and didn't invite me - even though it's in my husband's name."

Posh refused to comment, but The Sunday Times understands that the walk was organised as part of the firm's regular corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes and was not directly linked to the two men - although their names were used in material to promote the event.

Ms Lim said: "It's hypocritical to use Terence's name for a CSR that was already planned. How is it in his memory when donations were not made in his name or to a charity I knew he would approve of?"

Donations from the walk will go to the Community Chest and the Children's Cancer Foundation.

Ms Lim, who married Mr Chew two years ago after nine years together, wears her husband's watch - which is still set to Batam time. Despite repeated e-mails and text messages to Posh, she said the firm has not paid any compensation other than a three-month wage gratuity, or updated her on its investigations into the tragedy.

Posh said in July that the Mogami barge "tilted unexpectedly, resulting in the flooding of the control room compartment". Mr Chew had been on board to familiarise himself with its capabilities.

Ms Lim said: "I really need to know what happened and only they can tell me. In terms of closure, I don't have any. I will continue to grieve for a long time."


This article was first published on Nov 23, 2014. Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.