Delivered at the Wake Service on August 12th, 2021
I can’t believe that I am doing a eulogy for my younger brother.
The trending hype these days “is being an environmentalist”. Saying goes that a person “becomes an environmentalist.”
Nigel never cared much for money. In his early childhood days, he use to throw money out the window – literally. He was born an environmentalist. He used to pick up leaves when we were staying in Section 5, Petaling Jaya and keep them under his pillow. Who says environmentalists aren’t born?
It has been a tough, unusually quiet past two days.
Though Nigel was not with us physically every moment of the day while he was living; his presence could be felt.
It has been quite an eventful trip in life with Nigel. One time we cycled to PJ and back to Klang; me on my Raleigh Hercules (The Black Steed) bicycle and he on his yellow Raleigh Chopper bicycle. On our way back, a motorcycle crashed into me as we were coming into Klang. We cycled all the way to Klang GH, with me having bruises and bleeding all over. The medical people did not do anything. We had to go home and try to hide the bruises. Failed. Too many cuts and bruises to hide.
In the late ’70s, we had to do midnight Rukun Tetangga until 5.00am and get the next day off from work or school. We always planned our shift duty and dates to be the same with our friends. Nigel and I would get the use of dad’s Opel Rekord 1900L, sign in for duty at the base and then ponteng. We went for many joyrides during our duty times. Fun times.
The tripod king – (this was the usual in mum’s and dad’s house in Klang) he would pile his plate with all the dishes of food he liked (he hardly ever went went back for second servings – too much trouble, he would say), sit in the hall, hold his plate by placing it on three fingers of his left hand, spoon in the right, and enjoy his meal.
We (Nigel and family; Malcolm & Uma and us) fairly often, at least before the MCO; used to have “after dinner coffee meets” at each other’s homes as we are all staying nearby each other. We will continue to meet and we know Nigel will be with us.
In the last year or so, Nigel had taken to gardening of sorts. His pride and joy were his very healthily growing soursop trees. He was very pleased on how well there were doing. I would like to invite all of you to grow a plant of your choice in remembrance of him.
I think there is none other quite like Nigel. Nigel, Terence, Malcolm, Jennifer and I are siblings but we are all distinctively different in our ways, our thinking, etc. Nigel, had at times gone round telling people jokingly (I hope!), that he thought I was adopted by dad and mum because I have Mat Salleh blood in me. That’s the joker in him.
Right now, while we are talking about Nigel and reminiscing all the wonderful times we have had with him; Nigel is busy with Jen. She is showing him around heaven. They are both very happy. We love you, Nigel.
“Ponteng” is the Malay word for truant.