The fragility of life, let’s not take it for granted

The fragility of life, let’s not take it for granted
"The fragility of life, let’s not take it for granted"

It has been a brutal start to 2024, as in the first 69 days of the year, I have been to three funerals. In total, six friends and acquaintances have passed away, one every 11.5 days.

Only yesterday, March 8 – International Women’s Day – I attended the funeral of a friend’s mother.

However, the most shocking death was of one of my mechanics. The shop I go to is run by three brothers. I was stunned to learn that the youngest, only 45, had died in late December after suffering a stroke.

If I were to add him to my ‘death tally’, it would mean seven people have passed on.

I found out about this death on Monday when I rang the elder brother to ask if I could leave my Proton Exora at the workshop over the weekend to check on my air-conditioning.

I asked him if I could get the car back by Monday.

“That will not be possible,” said Edward Lim, the eldest of the trio.

“We no longer open on Sundays, so if you leave the car with us on Saturday, the earliest you can get it back is Tuesday.”

When asked why, he replied: “There are only the two of us now. My younger brother passed away in December.”

Lim Eng Yong, or simply Yong, as we knew him, had suffered a stroke. He was rushed to the hospital but passed away not long after, leaving behind a wife and a 10-year-old son.

The news of Yong’s death shocked the home minister and I, as he was such a pleasant chap who always had a smile on his face.

Once, he came over to our apartment early in the morning to bring us a spare battery after the one in my car died.

All three brothers have worked on our cars – from our Perodua Kancil to our Proton Iswara, and now the Exora – over the past 24 years.

We watched Lim grow up before our eyes and expected him to be looking after our cars for a long time.

I was supposed to meet up with a friend after Chinese New Year, but sadly, he passed away on Feb 8.

His, and Lim’s deaths have reminded us that we should not take anything for granted.

If friends call for a ‘teh tarik’ session, please try to meet them as soon as possible. You never know what will happen.


UNICEF and the Malaysian Association of Social Workers (MASW) are delighted that Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri will table the Social Work Profession Bill in Parliament later this year.

The Bill aims to establish a comprehensive framework for the social work profession, benefitting the most vulnerable, including over 18,000 child victims of sexual crimes reported to the Royal Malaysia Police.

It will ensure that social workers are equipped with adequate resources, training, and support, and receive the proper recognition.

The Bill will include a minimum education qualification in Social Work, either a diploma or a degree, and requires ongoing professional development for existing social workers.

Yet, the biggest challenge could be the setting up of an independent body to regulate social workers, which was included in the draft Bill.


Last year, this  news website advised readers to check their mobile plan as they could be overpaying.

Now, we would like you to visit your internet service provider as you could get a discount on your bill.

Last week, I dropped by a Unifi store in a shopping mall and, after a short discussion with the staff, discovered I was eligible for a discount if I signed a new contract.

As I have been using the same line since ‘forever’, I had no qualms about being tied down, even though there were lucrative offers from another internet service provider.

I am also eligible for a free 5G phone. However, the model I wanted was not in stock. So, I have to make another visit to the store.


Global ocean exploration outfit OceanX announced a multi-year mission to explore the waters of Southeast Asia to understand one of the most biodiverse and threatened oceanic regions in the world.

Using Singapore as a central meeting point, OceanX, a non-profit organisation, will embark on a series of research expeditions throughout the region aboard OceanXplorer – the world’s most advanced exploration, scientific research, and media production vessel.

This includes upcoming missions in Indonesia and Malaysia, where the team will partner with local government agencies and scientists to conduct studies on the ocean environment that will help inform science, policy, and economic decisions.

The OceanXplorer is fully equipped with cutting-edge technology to survey diverse marine environments, including deep-sea, shallow, and coastal habitats.

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