Monday, April 07, 2008

Till we meet again...

Eddie Toh, the author of this blog, died suddenly on Sunday, March 30, 2008, just two days before what would have been his 41st birthday. His funeral took place on Thursday, April 3, 2008 at Singapore's Mandai crematorium. This is an extract of a tribute read to the service by his beloved wife Linda Goh.

The first time I met Eddie was about 15 years ago. I was 18 and he was 27. He had come to check me out after his colleagues told him to take a look at who his secretary was having lunch with. I must say I was quite disappointed to learn that "this" irritating guy was Nina's boss.

He pretended to be disinterested. You know Eddie, always trying to be cool. Women did not affect him - or not that let he let on. It just as well, because I was seeing someone else at the time. In fact, I could have easily forgotten Eddie. But he would not let me. He would continue to make himself a nuisance by wise-cracking whenever our paths crossed. It would not occur to me until much later that he was actually interested in me.

Yes, first impressions can be misleading. Never could I have imagined that such a forgettable encounter would mark the start of an incredible journey with a man who was able to make me feel I was the most special woman in the world.

Today, as I look back, I smile to myself at how silly he was all those times he tried to get to know me better. I remember vividly how he held my hand the first time. I had challenged him to "ponteng" - steal a day - from work, which he told me he had never done before. He accepted the challenge and took me to a movie.

While I was pretending to watch the show, waiting for him to make his move, he was obviously plotting. First, he manoeuvred his hand around his lap until it was next to my thigh. Then he pressed that hand into my hand. And then he drew both our hands to his side.

Naturally, I gave not the slightest hint that I had noticed anything was going on. But inside, it was the most warm and wonderful feeling. It was the start of a beautiful life together - a life I wish with all my heart had gone on so much longer.

Honey, you meant everything to me. You gave me love, you gave me laughter. You tickled me, you taught me. You brought me joy, you made me cry. But when I cried you would end up crying with me. And with each tear that fell, we grew closer. Because that is what true love is: Accepting each other for the good and the bad, the highs and the lows, the perfect and the imperfect.

Didi, we had great times and some sad times. But before we knew it, we had become each other's second nature. Every day I would see you working at your computer, typing furiously as you made funny faces at me. Yes, you were always there. Supporting me and guiding me. Cuddling me with your arms - and your eyes. No one ever made me feel so comfortable. No one touched me more. No one ever could. I miss you so much….

Your friends tell me I was the best thing that happened to you. I refuse to believe this. Because let me tell you - and everyone - that you are the best thing that ever happened to me. Didi, you are my soul mate.

As I bid you farewell today, let me say again: Darling, this is not goodbye - not for me. I do not pretend to understand why you are continuing your journey alone. But I know you are in good hands, because I saw you coming close to the Lord in the final months of your life. I know He has guided you home. And when my time comes, I pray that I will have done enough to join you in heaven, so we can make up for all the time we did not share on earth. Knowing you, I know you would have made plans for me too.

As surely as love conquers all, you conquered my heart, Didi. I thank you for the past 15 years. I thank you for all you did for my family, for all you did for our friends. But most of all, my love, I thank you for all you did for me.

You did well, Didi. So rest well. You will always be a part of me and I will always love you.

Till we meet again for ‘mee-pok’ and ‘koay-teow-teng’.

Missing you dearly,


Nona SL said...

The eulogy is so beautifully written, well said and it cannot be better. Ed was a very dear friend to my sis (i.e. Nina) and I as he had rendered unlimited support to me during one of my toughest and weakest moment in my life, for that I am deeply grateful. He was such an impeccably honest and direct person and that's why his life had been enriched with countless true friends. For those who loved and missing Ed, I wish to say; ... A lot has been taken away from us this year; we lost a very dear friend, a great & impassioned journalist ... nonetheless, life teaches us to accept whatever obstacles that are placed before us. Whilst, at times they are seemingly insurmountable but if we have faith ... not just faith in God but faith in family and love, in learning them, faith in each other and ourselves .... if we have that, then we can live no matter what has come before us. And in saying so, dearest Linda I have utmost faith in you that you will continue to live your life to the fullest not only for yourself but also for Ed and those who dearly loves you.

As always with love,

Kevin Clarke said...

Eddie Toh was a dear friend and colleague - a talented, enthusiastic and dedicated journalist who gave 100 per cent effort 100 per cent of the time - whatever the odds. He would often tell me that his aim at work was "to make things better" - to encourage staff to do better, to make stories read better and to help make The Business Times - the last newspaper he worked on - better. Eddie, you DID make things better. And you would have made them better still had you not departed so early. You will live on in the hearts of all those who knew and loved you, brother. Rest in peace.

Barbara said...

It is understandable we all need to morn for our lost. The dearest, the greatest pain. The reality bites when we realize that the physical lost is forever, but no matter how much it hurts, it can't rid the ultimate truth from your face.

So, take a momment. Listen to the deepest voice from the bottom of the heart. The message from the holy ghost could seem surreal but with full honesty. It is time when faith is being tested. The faith that he is in the arms of almighty, in the mercy of our father. Grace with peace and bliss. So say a silence prayer and be grateful that fate had brought the union with purest intention of god will.

The most precious gift one can offer to love is memories. As long as the memories is in your heart, he has not left you and you know deep down in your heart, you are not forgotten.

Love is the wish of happiness for the other party. So now is when you need to prove that he is the source of your happiness, not misery. Two souls can only be one in the name of god when reconcilation is accomplished.

(wife of Jason Toh)

snugpug said...

Hope you're doing OK. Please call if you need anything.

Adi and Leslie, with Queeni and Rupert

PRAY,IT WORKS. joe's blog said...

Reading the eulogy is like God Loving Himself in these TWO people who were once one body in marriage. I know they will meet again in Heaven for God Loves as no one else loves.

rem said...

hi linda,
i am glad u posted this eulogy. i was there when u read it and it made me cry.
all those crazy things u said he did to get your attention is what made eddie a fun guy to be with!
u know, these days wherever i am bored i found it hard to remove the cobwebs, because eddie used to be just a call away.
how i regret not meeting him in earlier months due my funny 1pm-11pm workshift hours.
still, thinking of the crazy things we used to do together in kl made me smile everytime.
take care linda.

(eddie's 'muslim brother')

human book said...

List of racial discriminations in Malaysia, practiced by government as well as government agencies. This list is an open secret. Best verified by government itself because it got the statistics.

This list is not in the order of importance, that means the first one on the list is not the most important and the last one on the list does not mean least important.

This list is a common knowledge to a lot of Malaysians, especially those non-malays (Chinese, Ibans, Kadazans, Orang Asli, Tamils, etc) who were being racially discriminated.

Figures in this list are estimates only and please take it as a guide only. Government of Malaysia has the most correct figures. Is government of Malaysia too ashamed to publish their racist acts by publishing racial statistics?

This list cover a period of about 50 years since independence (1957).

List of racial discriminations (Malaysia):

(1) Out of all the 5 major banks, only one bank is multi-racial, the rest are controlled by malays

(2) 99% of Petronas directors are malays

(3) 3% of Petronas employees are Chinese

(4) 99% of 2000 Petronas gasoline stations are owned by malays

(5) 100% all contractors working under Petronas projects must be bumis status

(6) 0% of non-malay staffs is legally required in malay companies. But there must be 30% malay staffs in Chinese companies

(7) 5% of all new intake for government army, nurses, polices, is non-malays

(8) 2% is the present Chinese staff in Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF), drop from 40% in 1960

(9) 2% is the percentage of non-malay government servants in Putrajaya. But malays make up 98%

(10) 7% is the percentage of Chinese government servants in the whole government (in 2004), drop from 30% in 1960

(11) 95% of government contracts are given to malays

(12) 100% all business licensees are controlled by malay government e.g. Approved Permits, Taxi Permits, etc

(13) 80% of the Chinese rice millers in Kedah had to be sold to malay controlled Bernas in 1980s. Otherwise, life is make difficult for Chinese rice millers

(14) 100 big companies set up, managed and owned by Chinese Malaysians were taken over by government, and later managed by malays since 1970s e.g. MISC, UMBC, UTC, etc

(15) At least 10 Chinese owned bus companies (throughout Malaysia, throughout 40 years) had to be sold to MARA or other malay transport companies due to rejection by malay authority to Chinese application for bus routes and rejection for their application for new buses

(16) 2 Chinese taxi drivers were barred from driving in Johor Larkin bus station. There are about 30 taxi drivers and 3 are Chinese in October 2004. Spoiling taxi club properties was the reason given

(17) 0 non-malays are allowed to get shop lots in the new Muar bus station (November 2004)

(18) 8000 billion ringgit is the total amount the government channeled to malay pockets through ASB, ASN, MARA, privatisation of government agencies, Tabung Haji etc, through NEP over 34 years period

(19) 48 Chinese primary schools closed down since 1968 - 2000

(20) 144 Indian primary schools closed down since 1968 - 2000

(21) 2637 malay primary schools built since 1968 - 2000

(22) 2.5% is government budget for Chinese primary schools. Indian schools got only 1%, malay schools got 96.5%

(23) While a Chinese parent with RM1000 salary (monthly) cannot get school-text-book-loan, a malay parent with RM2000 salary is eligible

(24) 10 all public universities vice chancellors are malays

(25) 5% - the government universities lecturers of non-malay origins had been reduced from about 70% in 1965 to only 5% in 2004

(26) Only 5% is given to non-malays for government scholarships over 40 years

(27) 0 Chinese or Indians were sent to Japan and Korea under "Look East Policy"

(28) 128 STPM Chinese top students could not get into the course that they aspired e.g. Medicine (in 2004)

(29) 10% place for non-bumi students for MARA science schools beginning from year 2003, but only 7% are filled. Before that it was 100% malays

(30) 50 cases whereby Chinese and Indian Malaysians, are beaten up in the National Service program in 2003

(31) 25% is Malaysian Chinese population in 2004, drop from 45% in 1957

(32) 7% is the present Malaysian Indians population (2004), a drop from 12% in 1957

(33) 2 million Chinese Malaysians had emigrated to overseas since 40 years ago

(34) 0.5 million Indian Malaysians had emigrated to overseas

(35) 3 million Indonesians had migrated into Malaysia and became Malaysian citizens with bumis status

(36) 600000 are the Chinese and Indian Malaysians with red IC and were rejected repeatedly when applying for citizenship for 40 years. Perhaps 60% of them had already passed away due to old age. This shows racism of how easily Indonesians got their citizenship compare with the Chinese and Indians

(37) 5% - 15% discount for a malay to buy a house, regardless whether the malay is poor or rich

(38) 2% is what Chinese new villages get compare with 98% of what malay villages got for rural development budget

(39) 50 road names (at least) had been changed from Chinese names to other names

(40) 1 Dewan Gan Boon Leong (in Malacca) was altered to other name (e.g. Dewan Serbaguna or sort) when it was being officially used for a few days. Government try to shun Chinese names. This racism happened in around year 2000 or sort

(41) 0 churches/temples were built for each housing estate. But every housing estate got at least one mosque/surau built

(42) 3000 mosques/surau were built in all housing estates throughout Malaysia since 1970. No churches, no temples are required to be built in housing estates

(43) 1 Catholic church in Shah Alam took 20 years to apply to be constructed. But told by malay authority that it must look like a factory and not look like a church. Still not yet approved in 2004

(44) 1 publishing of Bible in Iban language banned (in 2002)

(45) 0 of the government TV stations (RTM1, RTM2, TV3) are directors of non-malay origins

(46) 30 government produced TV dramas and films always showed that the bad guys had Chinese face, and the good guys had malay face. You can check it out since 1970s. Recent years, this tendency becomes less

(47) 10 times, at least, malays (especially Umno) had threatened to massacre the Chinese Malaysians using May 13 since 1969

(48) 20 constituencies won by DAP would not get funds from the government to develop. Or these Chinese majority constituencies would be the last to be developed

(49) 100 constituencies (parliaments and states) had been racistly re-delineated so Chinese voters were diluted that Chinese candidates, particularly DAP candidates lost in election since 1970s

(50) Only 3 out of 12 human rights items are ratified by Malaysia government since 1960

(51) 0 - elimination of all forms of racial discrimination (UN Human Rights) is not ratified by Malaysia government since 1960s

(52) 20 reported cases whereby malay ambulance attendances treated Chinese patients inhumanely, and malay government hospital staffs purposely delay attending to Chinese patients in 2003. Unreported cases may be 200

(53) 50 cases each year whereby Chinese, especially Chinese youths being beaten up by malay youths in public places. We may check at police reports provided the police took the report, otherwise there will be no record

(54) 20 cases every year whereby Chinese drivers who accidentally knocked down malays were seriously assaulted or killed by malays

(55) 12% is what ASB/ASN got per annum while banks fixed deposit is only about 3.5% per annum

There are hundreds more racial discriminations in Malaysia to add to this list of "colossal" racism. It is hope that the victims of racism will write in to expose racism.

Malaysia government should publish statistics showing how much malays had benefited from the "special rights" of malays and at the same time tell the statistics of how much other minority races are being discriminated.

Hence, the responsibility lies in the Malaysia government itself to publish unadulterated statistics of racial discrimination.

If the Malaysia government hides the statistics above, then there must be some evil doings, immoral doings, shameful doings and sinful doings, like the Nazi, going on onto the non-malays of Malaysia.

Civilized nation, unlike evil Nazi, must publish statistics to show its treatment on its minority races. This is what Malaysia must publish……….

We are asking for the publication of the statistics showing how "implementation of special rights of malays" had inflicted colossal racial discrimination onto non-malays.

aston said...

New Cabinet:

Prime Minister - Anwar

Deputy Prime Minister - Lim Kit Siang

Culture Minister - Farish Noor

Defence Minister -

Education Minister - Nga Kor Ming

Environment Minister - Teresa Kok

Finance Minister - Tony Pua

Foreign Minister - Ramasamy

Health Minister - Tan Seng Giaw

Home Minister -

Information Minister - Jeff Ooi

Law Minister - Teng Chang Khim

Manpower Minister -

Sports Minister -

Technology Minister -

Trade Minister - Khalid

Transport Minister - Liew Chin Tong

(Penang Chief Minister - Lim Guan Eng)

vokoyo said...

I wish to point out that the Orang Asli, not the malays, are the original inhabitants of Malaysia. Most of the malay Malaysians came from Sumatra and other parts of Indonesia. They only migrated here much earlier than the Chinese and Indian Malaysians. It does not mean they deserve privileges or rights just because they were the pioneer immigrants.

It is true that there have been abuses under the name of malay special rights and it is the duty of the malays in particular, and all Malaysians in general, to stop it so that the rightful malays get their rights, and the non-malays get their rights as citizens of this country.

It is a sad thing to say, but I do believe the main thing that is holding back malays is not the Chinese or the Indians, but the malays themselves. That is why Badawi and Mahathir have been quoted as telling to throw away crutches and work hard to face the challenges of globalisation.

The malay and others of the same mind should learn to stand on their own feet rather than claim for special rights and privileges. The world is becoming globalised and if they don't change their attitude, they will only become beggars in their own country.

As for the malays who insist on hiding behind the veil of malay special rights - you have lost the respect of non-malays a long time ago.

We also suspect that the current situation will, unfortunately, get worse if no action is taken now. Why? Because our kids in school hardly mix with each other. They will grow up with little understanding of their fellow Malaysians, and with the suspicions that exist, it will be worse.

The truth of the matter is that polarisation in Malaysia is caused by the discriminatory practises of the government - especially after the NEP - rather than vernacular education.

The NEP is upheld for the rich and not the poor in Malaysia.

Whether we admit it or not, the problem is that the special rights and privileges given have now resulted in only a selected few malays getting richer and richer. The bulk of the malays, especially in the rural areas are not benefiting from the system.

Poor people are poor people, rich people are rich people - no matter which race they come from.

The poor in Malaysia must be served but I am sure all taxpayers feel that this should be done in a manner which is blind to age, ethnicity, gender and religion.

What is wrong with extending help to all deserving citizens based on merits and needs regardless of race?

The Malaysia problem is that rich do become richer. And because of the political system, the players are the same.

Out of control - this is all I can say about any type of enforcement and the level of corruption in Malaysia. No idea what Badawi has done in his four years in office but judging from the ground, I guess nothing much.

If you have ever heard of the simple saying, "Give a man a fish, he eats for a day, teach him how to fish and he eats for a lifetime." you will realise that many non-malays have learned how to fish but the government is still handing out fishes to the malays. One day the fish will run out.

If you want to say discrimination is here in the US, yes, of course it is. Can you name a country where it doesn't happen? But let me tell you one thing - if you go looking for it, you will find it. But in Malaysia, you don't have to go look for it because it seeks you out, slaps you in your face every which way you turn, and is sanctioned by law!

Official figures have more than one million Chinese Malaysians emigrating over the past 25 years. Why did they emigrate? I am sure the government knows.

For most professionals, living abroad has its own ups and downs. But you get dignity, fair treatment and respect for your ability. You get a voice too. And ears to hear you.

Brain drain by the tank-loads is what we get. Every single year, Malaysia loses people who could potentially contribute to the country immensely.

So malay, you may keep your rights and perpetuate them. Such things are archaic. Who loses in the end? Your country, which should have been a first world one by today.

I sympathize with those that have benefited from the NEP, but the bad news is that the price he pays for his progress is much higher than what he pays for his benefit.

These special rights and privileges were once a necessity for them to move forward. Today, after many decades, they find themselves still standing in the same place.

It is a shame that our history has been constantly twisted so that our younger generation has no understanding of Malaysia's foundation and its true aspiration.

It is arguable that if not for the contributions of the Chinese and Indian Malaysians who helped in the development of this country tremendously, Malaysia would probably be in same category like Indonesia or the Philippines, if not worst.

To improve the malays lot, more have to be made to work in private companies where competition is real and what count is your ability. If special rights only help malays to become government servants, then all the more reason not to invoke special rights.

But of course, the present ruling elite drunken with wealth, will continue to fight this dream to ensure that Malaysia is kept divided so that BN can continue to rule.

Alternatively, Malaysians may begin to realise the dream of a new Malaysia.

The bitter truth is that the majority of this nation don't see the need to change things yet and until then, we can do little about it.

The bottom line with present day globalisation is this: compete on a level-playing field or you will lose. Plain and simple.

A wild cat said...


So sorry to learn that Eddie is gone. I am a fan to this blog and wish you are strong to face challenges ahead.

carmen said...

I have not had the opportunity to meet the man who got to my friend's heart.. but I have heard so much about the joy he has brought into her life...

Yes, as Nona said, the eulogy is so beautifully written.

Nothing is harder than losing someone you love so dearly. My dearest Linda, take strength in your memories and have faith in tomorrow. God works in mysterious ways and I'm sure he has everything planned out... and someday, both your paths will cross once again...

autochris said...

"We'll remember you forever Eddie
Thru' the sacrifice you made
We can't believe the price you paid..."

Dude, we shared many beers - I remember the Frontpage days, where you and Quak would hang out. You were an idealist. A dreamer. And also a do-er.

But I know you were up against something that didn't appreciate change. And you were too nice a guy to fight with knuckle-dusters.

Nonetheless you fought a good fight. Without being nasty or dirty.

Your contributions, your dreams, your sacrifice won't be forgotten.

Cruise on, dude.

Harro! said...

I trust that everything is going well Sophie. God Bless.

nona sl said...


Helloooo u have any clue what this thread is abt?? If you dont, your comments were totally insensitive and not to mention vacuous! rendering no support whatsoever! Get your facts right, before you speak or write!!!

Anonymous said...

Dear Linda,

I cannot be calm since i heard the bad news. It moves my heart and thoughts.

I just want to show my support to you, my dearest friend.

Wish you good, wish you better.

Love, Monica

Lady Lavender said...

Hello, I knew Eddie from work at SPH a while ago. He was ever the smiley, cheerful guy; always a joy to be around.

I am learning to deal with grief and the impending death of a loved one...too..and have blogged about this...

Wishing Eddie a safe journey to the other end. Linda, I have not met you but my heartfelt condolence.

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