Remembering The 3 Malaysians Who Lost Their Lives In The 9/11 Tragedy

One of the victims, 23-year-old Vijayashanker Paramsothy, could have escaped but stayed behind to help a colleague.

Cover image via Ng Eng Hen (Facebook) & Lai Seng Sin/AP via Deseret News

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It's been 20 over years but the tragedy of 9/11 lingers on

Every year on 11 September, countries worldwide join the US in remembering the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York that killed almost 3,000 people in 2001.

Among the 2,977 names, the memorials also pay tribute to the three Malaysians who were killed in the attacks.

The victims were Vijayashanker Paramsothy from Selangor, Khoo Sei Lai from Sabah, and Ang Siew Nya from Penang.

Vijayashanker Paramsothy was a 23-year-old financial analyst at Aon Insurance, located on the 103rd floor of the South Tower

According to an archived story by AsiaOne, Vijayashanker, fondly known as Vijay, could have escaped via the emergency staircase with his colleagues but stayed behind to help his injured manager on the way down.

Vijay's father said he was a great companion to him, and they would often play jokes on each other and drink together, and although he lived half a world away from home, he called his parents every day and visited them whenever he could.

After his death, Vijay's parents commemorated him by publishing a biography, The Perfect Son, depicting how he had grown into a caring and loving man.

Vijayashanker Paramsothy, Khoo Sei Lai, and Ang Siew Nya.

Image via 9/11 Memorial & Museum

Khoo was a 38-year-old mutual fund manager at Fred Alger Management working on the 93rd floor of the North Tower

According to an archived article by Malay Mail, she was often sought out by media for her views and was described as someone who always made time for family, friends, and co-workers despite her busy schedule.

In a 2001 tribute on Legacy.com, her younger brother, Khoo Yeng Leng, said she taught him survival skills and showed him the best places to eat at when he first moved to New York for college.

"She always remembered what she ordered and what was good the last time we ate someplace," he said, adding that she was also always first to "fight for the bill".

The Star reported that at the time of her death, she was engaged to be married.

A second hijacked commercial plane flew into the South Tower of the World Trade Centre on 11 September 2001.

Image via The Conversation

Meanwhile, working two floors above was 37-year-old Ang, a mother-of-two and a technical analyst at Marsh USA

According to a profile published on Legacy.com in 2001, Ang was a hardworking mother of two daughters, who cherished time with her family.

She would often leave for work early in the morning but would call home to make sure her girls were properly equipped to handle a day of school and extracurricular activities.

After the tragedy, her daughters, then four and eight years old, hung a picture of her in their bedroom to say goodnight to every night.

"Sometimes I have to let them know that Mommy is in heaven and other than that I just don't know what to say," Ang's husband, Lee Kui Liong, said then.

In 2020, the US Embassy shared that their names are etched on the National September 11 Memorial in New York City:

On 4 August 1975, five terrorists held 53 Malaysians hostage in the then tallest building in Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur:

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