A pair of Malaysian siblings had to borrow SGD6,000 (about RM18,600) to go to Singapore to send off their late mother
Their 46-year-old mother died in an accident on Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3, Singapore on 25 August, reported The Straits Times.
She was hit by a double-decker bus while she was on her way to work at 6am. It is learnt that she was dragged by the vehicle for 5m.
Singapore's firefighters had to use hydraulic rescue equipment to extricate her body as she was trapped under the bus. The paramedic pronounced her dead at the scene upon their arrival.
The 56-year-old bus driver was arrested for careless driving causing death.
When her children — a 23-year-old son and 19-year-old daughter — first heard about their mother's passing that Wednesday morning, they thought it was fake news
After spending two hours to calm down, the son contacted his aunt for help to travel to Singapore, reported Shin Min Daily News.
They had to borrow RM18,600 from their relatives to cover their 14-day quarantine cost as they did not have enough savings.
The siblings living in Perak spent seven hours driving to Singapore and arrived a day after their mother's passing.
On their third day in Singapore, 29 August, they received approval from the authorities to go out for six hours to take care of their mother's funeral matters.
They rushed to the funeral home at Sin Ming to see their mother for the final time ahead of the cremation scheduled at night.
They also went to the accident site to perform some prayers even though it was raining.
Speaking to Shin Min Daily News reporters at the location, they said their mother worked very hard to support the family of three
"Mum was busy making money. We rarely travelled together. Last year, she said that when the pandemic is over, three of us as a family will travel to an island for a holiday," the son, who works in the marketing department of a company, said.
"My mother didn't dare take long vacations because she was afraid of losing her job. Prior to this, she only went home twice a year. There was not much time for three of us to reunite."
He added that they had not seen their mother for two years because of the border closure caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The last time the mother and son spoke was 11 August when she reminded him to pay the bill.
The 23-year-old said his mother told him that she had been saving some money for the downpayment of a house. She had planned to be reunited with her children in Malaysia.
"She worked too hard, I just want her to come back," the son said while tearing up
When he was just a child, he said he was ignorant and always pleaded with his mother not to leave.
However, now that they have started working and can reduce their mother's burden, they did not expect the accident would take place.
The son, who shed tears multiple times during the interview with Shin Min Daily News, said it is now too late to repay her.
In a response to The Straits Time following the event of the accident, SBS Transit senior vice president for corporate communications Tammy Tan said the public transport company will be contacting the victim's family.
"We are deeply sorry that this has happened and are trying to get in touch with the next of kin to offer our condolences and assistance," Tan said on 25 August.
"We will do our best to help and support them during this difficult time. Meanwhile, we are assisting the police in their investigations."
It is unsure whether the company has reached out to the siblings yet.