Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Are The Corpses Not Seeing?



A man, Muhamad-Ali Mahmod, 35, unemployed, who strangled and slapped a corpse across the cheek at a funeral of his neighbour was given 14 weeks for the offence, which is punishable with up to 3 years and/or a fine, by a district court on Friday.


He is believed to be the first person to be convicted of offering indignity to a human corpse at a flat in Tampines on March 8.
The court heard that Muhamad-Ali, who at about 4pm, entered the living room of his 72-year-old neighbour who held some prayers at the funeral of his late son - strangled and slapped the corpse. The deceased's father felt insulted by the act.
A relative immediately told him to leave and he did so.


He told the court that he would seek his neighbour's forgiveness after his release, and that he did it while he was under the influence of inhalant.

******

If the article in the 21 May Straits Times shows how low the moral of a person can be, a wife, who was told of her husband's demise at the last minute, faced more than that.

I shall refer the wife as Anne, who used to recharge her energy at my previous house.
She's 24/7, forever busy - with ceaseless housework and attending to 9 children.
The only time I would go to her house was after 10pm, just a walking distance away. I had to visit her occasionally for her to release her pent-up feelings and facing with the never ending household duties. My Husband would then fetch me home in the wee hours.

Anne's husband was seldom around as he, being the sole breadwinner, has not only his family to support, but his parents too. He would grab whatever job opportunity after working hours available and able for him to do that he had no time to look after, thus neglected his health.

******

A man, who looked like Anne's husband, whom I shall call Nas, kept staring at me when I was waiting for a bus back to JB, almost 10 years ago.
Impossible it was Nas. He's a strong man to use a walking stick. If it was really him, he should approach me as we were ex-neighbours.
When the bus back to JB came, I alighted, and he's still staring blankly at me until the bus left his sight.

I told My Husband what had happened and he insisted me visiting Anne but she's very busy in the day and she would not feel comfortable talking to me with My Husband's presence since now He has to send and fetch me, no more a walking distance to her house.

Around a week after the incidence, My Husband, who happenend to meet Anne's neighbour, told Him Anne's wish to meet me.
I went to her place the day after.

We met - Nas had passed away 3 days after I saw him at the bus-stop.
Nas called up Anne, his wife, of the sad news. He was happy to chance upon me at the bus-stop. He had waited for the moment for almost a month but his weak legs failed him to approach me.

He really wanted to see me. He had wanted me to bring his wife to the CPF (Central Provident Fund) building. He had wanted his wife to tell the truth - The nominees for his CPF had been changed, by force. He has to leave his wife and 9 children, penniless. He's too weak to fight against his 3 sisters' demand. He's terminally ill from nose cancer - It started from a simple but ignored treatable sinus that cost his health.

He had to leave Anne and the 9 children, all Malaysians, at home, to stay at Ang Moh Kio, one of his sister's house.
He's a Singaporean, working in Singapore and had to make the daily visit to one of the hospital in Singapore. Nas's sister would accompany him to the hospital daily and the children would go over to visit their father during the weekends or school holiday.

It was during one of those nights that, when 2 of his children were with him at Ang Koh Kio, 9 and 11 years old then, overheard how their father was forced to change the nominees for his CPF which had more than S$100,000.
Towards the end of his days, the children, whenever around, would discreetly plugged-in the home phone, which he had no access to, to call up his wife for a few minutes treasured conversations.
His passport was being kept by his sister, until his death.

******

2 hours before he was supposed to be buried at 11am, Anne received a call from one of her brother-in-law, after a great objection from his wife, of Nas's death.
She prayed hard, despite the heavy traffic at the causeway and her 2 small children, 3 and 5 years-old then, tagged along, she would meet her husband for the last time. The pre-schoolers were too young to understand what the family went through.

When her husband had to go to the hospital everyday, she used to visit him at Ang Moh Kio until one of those visit day when her sister-in-law called up the neighbourhood police, reporting her of being a trespasser.
The policeman had to wait until she went back to JB.

******

True enough, God answered Anne's prayer. 
The person supposed to come to cleanse the body for burial was late.

The moment she arrived and lifted up the cloth that covered her husband's face, her head was repeatedly knocked by her sister-in-law, accusing her of being so stupid to cause her husband's death.
She was being accused to put him under her spell. She was being accused to charm him for so long. She was being accused with all accuses one can think of, until well-wishers stopped the sister-in-law's hit and accuses hurled on Anne.
Those stupidity, those accusation, those spell, those charm, did not stop Anne from reciting the Qur'an for her husband with heavy sob and fast flowing tears until he was buried 7 feet underground.

The very night of his last breath at around 11pm, Anne, from the corner of her eyes, saw Nas, her husband, he stood at their bedroom door, staring blankly at Anne, until Anne went with him to a very big building with many doors, as Anne recalled her dream.


She was brought around the building with green. and she remembered well which floor, which room to go to.

******

A day after Anne went back to JB, her late husband's ex-colleagues paid her a visit.
She was handed an envelope with around S$22,000 inside, collected from staff working at the bus company where Nas was working as an inspector then.

Prior to the last post he held, he was a bus driver in one of the biggest bus company in Singapore.
There, almost RM20,000 was collected although he had left the previous place more than 15 years ago but colleagues remembered him well, for putting his father first before his family - it was his father who held his ATM card.
He had to constantly remind the old man not to overdraw, reminding the father he has had family members of 10 to feed at home, and which is never enough when the father withdrew any amount the father likes it.                                   

7 comments:

Uncle Lee said...

Hello Ummie, wow! What a heartwarming post this. Regret to read of that 'slapping' incident, and of Nas problems.
I guess life can be harsh and a Roller coaster for many of us....
And it is sad to see the unwary suffer.
You keep well, best regards, Lee.

Ummie said...

Yes, but Anne is relieved now that the in-laws no more clinging onto her family.

心良 said...

仇恨是一把雙刃劍,傷了別人,也傷了自己..................................................

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