Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Family mourns loss of beautiful, intelligent go-getter

The Star Online - 28 January 2008


PENANG: She had the world at her feet but death robbed medical student Lee Nian Ning of a brilliant future.

The straight As student, former state swimmer and accomplished Girl Guide was on the double-decker express bus from Penang to Kuala Lumpur which crashed near Slim River on Friday.

Nian Ning, 21, a Public Service Department (PSD) scholar at the University of New South Wales in Australia who was on her way to visit friends in Kuala Lumpur, was among three passengers who perished when the driver lost control of the bus and slammed into a divider.

“We learnt that the driver had 13 summonses against him. Why had the company not screened him and realised that he was not competent to drive that bus?

“I wonder why the authorities still allowed such a monster to roam our streets?” asked Nian Ning's distraught father Lee Hock Chuan, 50, a company human resources director.

He also expressed disappointment over the bus company's reaction to the tragedy.

“They know who the victims are and yet, I have yet to receive a single call from them. There is not a single representative from the company here today to pay respects to my eldest daughter,” he said.

The family is contemplating legal action and Lee appealed to witnesses to come forward.

“It won’t bring her back but we just want justice to be done,” he said.

The attractive Nian Ning, who stood 1.72m tall, was a national backwoods cooking champion and had set her sights on becoming a doctor.

She scored straight As in both the UPSR and PMR and obtained 11A1s and one A2 in the SPM exams.

“From a young age, she was so clear about her goal. Even though she had been approached to be a model, the only thing she wanted to be was an orthopaedic surgeon,” said her mother Ong Keep Gim, 48, a teacher.

Friends and family of the young victim paid their respects at her home in Taman Gelugor yesterday.

She was later cremated at the Batu Gantung crematorium.

More than 20 of her closest friends also created a scrapbook with personal messages to their friend.

“She was determined and a perfectionist,” said J.A. Cheng, 20, who was Nian Ning's schoolmate.

“She knew what she wanted in life and achieved her dreams. We will miss her very much.”

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