On December 27th 2010, Alan Khoo Kim Heng, Singapore Citizen, 60 years of age, hung himself in a park in Lower Hutt, Wellington, New Zealand. He bore a small paper with him asking anybody who found him not to resuscitate him. An avalanche of hear say started to flood my email box, some of which were quite ridiculous. Wondering how come most people knew Alan so superficially, I started this Blog. To get all the fairy tales about him out of this world !
A small warning : some of my comments are very hard, dry, and straight forward. I say things as they are and if they don’t please you, DON’T READ THIS BLOG.
1. A small introduction into Alan’s public and “hidden” personalities
When last year I read this message on a SQ message board, I couldn’t believe my eyes!
“Friday, November 20, 2009 Re: Alan Khoo can someone pls help?
The appeal by DB to locate his friend Alan Khoo (the post below) must be taken seriously. Alan was an in flight supervisor with SIA until about 15 years ago. He left the airline on his own accord. He immigrated to Australia shortly after he left SIA. Alan was a nice chap, hardworking and courteous. Although he was very strict with his crew, he was respected by them. He was an outstanding supervisor. Alan loved the figure or number 4. He lived in a house with number 4 as his address in the East Coast.Singapore. He drove around in a Mercedes Benz with a license plate consisting of 4 4s i.e. 4444. He told us 4 was his favourite number and it has brought him luck. In S’pore and elsewhere most Chinese do not like the figure 4 because it means death (pronounce as see in Hokkien, Sei in Cantonese which means death). So as you can see Alan has been flirting with SEI or SEE. I hope Alan is not consumed by SEI or SEE.
What followed was even more hilarious and made me laugh like crazy !
“Dear Mr. DB We are notifying you that a friend of you Mr. Alan Khoo, he is in our custody here in UK we need a sum of 5000 pounds before we can release him…. To pay the money by western union NAME Alan Khoo. Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T
From: Gavin matt Date: Wed, 27 Jan 2010 22:32:47 +0100
To: Subject: Re: KIM HENG
Don’t ask me any question and if you are trying to act smart you will loss your friend….”
Yeah, sure…he would LOSS his friend… Learn to write proper English, DUMBO, I thought!
ALAN? Being kidnapped? Your better have a snake bite your bottom, than trying to kidnap Alan. One wouldn’t survive his anger, fits and mental violence. As a kidnapper, you would be safer in Changi Prison than with Alan as a hostage.
Ala, after more than 20 years there was my friend Alan again. The one I had been with for 10 years in Singapore. It must have been HIM, because part of the message was right. He was indeed Hokkien Chinese, from Baba descent (through his father AND mother). His mother came from a well-to-do old Singapore family.
Hum, hum….OLD ? What is “OLD” in Singapore ….. The country only exists since 1965 and was civilized as from 1819 onward. Considered my own family tradition, that goes way back to the early 16th century, Singapore has a history in a nutshell.
His dad came from a poor family from Penang, Malaysia. I don’t know whom of the SQ fairies spread the rumour around that his dad was well known. HE WASN’T !!!!! He came to Singapore as an ordinary labourer and worked later in life for the Raffles Hotel, as a book keeper. When I knew him, he hardly ever left home, never saw people outside of the family and watched TV all day long (mostly WWF Wrestling), while his wife bossed our maids Suzan and Nora around and held bible studies for a christian sect called “the Reborn Christians”.
Alan had indeed been In-flight Supervisor (IFS) and he had a black Mercedes Benz 560 SEL with number plate SBG444. And rightly so, we lived with his parents in Sennett lane 4 in Bedok, five minutes walking from Bayshore Park (on Upper East Coast Road) and the ECP.
The Khoo House, no. 4, Singapore.
The Khoo House, Sennett Lane 4 in Singapore
1.1. The Bright Side of the Moon
On the surface he was funny, courteous and everything he did had to be perfect. That was all quite correct. He loaded the dictatorial Singapore government and longed to immigrate to a real free country: Australia, where he could be who he was …. or better said : who he WANTED to be! Then Alan was quite intelligent and soon the Singaporean dictatorship got on his nerves.
He told me once that if the government thought all Singaporeans were Ah-Bengs and Ah-Sengs, they had to think twice. But, he wouldn’t play their game anymore !
Alan was a life loving person, very energetic and especially contented with himself. Thus, the gossip about him playing around with SEI and number 4 will only stay what it is : Gossip !
Sure, he didn’t mind things baring a 4. At at that time, in the 80ies, very few Singaporean Chinese would acquire an object baring this number, because in Chinese tradition it is associated with death. Anything baring this figure was cheap to acquire (i.e. a house number and/or a number plate, etc).
Alan loved buying cheap. Everything he bought had to be cheap … but had to look expensive ! He got a real mental kick out of bargaining. I think he got it from his mum, because when she went shopping, her first offer was always 50 % less than the asking price.
It was very trying to live with a cheap skate; always running all over the island to find the cheapest things ! Even clothes had to be inexpensive. We ALWAYS went to look for the cheapest clothes. And when they were not cheap enough, we went to a Chinese tailor next to the Sikh Temple to have loads of colourful shirts and pants made for 1 dollar per shirt and 5 S$ per trousers. And, oh my lord, if the tailor had missed a stitch Alan wouldn’t pay the poor man. Even not a single S$.
Humour and Alan Khoo didn’t match! He had NO sense of humour whatsoever. He didn’t catch the sense of sarcasm and took everything personal and literal. But, as most of my expat friends indulged just in that (sarcasm), he had to endure some difficult times with us !
One day, we went to visit my dear friend in Alexandra Park. Arrived at her colonial house, the butler opened the door of my side of the car, while she came to greet us. She asked me whom drove me and with a big sarcastic smile I answered her he was my driver. My goodness, all hell broke loose; he lost all his manners, started to swear and get angry fits. Finally he slammed the door of the car and went walking in Alexandra Park. Only to come back 20 minutes later, completely over the top.
1.2. The dark side of the Moon
So far the more innocent part of his hidden self.
The not so innocent side was quite sinister. Life with Alan Khoo was a string of fights, angry fits, bad moods and mental control and manipulation.
He could change in a minute from a charming guy into a real sociopath with psychopathic tendencies! He had a vivid imagination and reinvented himself constantly, telling stories and tales which had nothing to do with reality. If you were on his “shit list”, he’ll destroy you by spreading venomous gossip around the Lion City. Even if you were family !
Being at war with his own mother, he scattered around he had been adopted and had been living with his grandmother in a big house in old Singapore. Bullocks: he had never been adopted and his grandmother raised him because both his parents had to work.
When Alan was born, Bedok was sort of a back alley of Singapore, with old ran down houses, earthen roads, no gutters and where no Englishman would dare to go. When it rained, the road would wash away and leave huge gaps in front of the bungalow of his parents. His parents themselves were actually quite poor, hence his obsession with material wealth.
He was extremely dominant and terribly despotic. Even toward his own family. His will was law and there was no discussion possible. Life had to be lived after “his” plan and nobody could escape it. If you tried to, he would make your life a living hell (and so he made his own mother’s life a living hell, till her last day).
He was extremely jealous, to the point that he would page 5 times a day to check out whom was doing what. And if one wouldn’t answer within 5 minutes, hell would break loose. When on flight, he would call home at 21.30 PM precisely to check if everybody was doing what he expected them to do. Or he would call his best friend Derek (another SQ steward who drove a black BMW and had attitudes of an Italian mafioso) , to come around to Bedok (or even to the Embassy where I worked) to check things out and report back to IFS Khoo.
Of course, with such a mentality, it’s obvious he had no real friends. Locals were not desired, because they were all after “one” thing. While he felt very uncomfortable with expats, because of his HUGE inferiority complex.
On one of our many flights to Sydney, in search of a house or some land to build on, a SQ steward came and made some small talk with me. A seven hours flight can be very boring !
Oh my lord, Mr. IFS became red with anger, disciplined the guy and made the steward’s life in SQ a real misery. He was strict in his job all right; but there is strictness and strictness. Sometimes he made me think of a small version of “Adolf Hitler” !
Source : http://sbg4444.wordpress.com/2012/04/06/alan-in-bondai-dreaming-of-a-life-in-sydney/