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Sunday, 03 November 2013 00:00

Filial Piety Award for the Late Lee Ming Hoe

Written by  By Loh Siew Chien, Melaka/ Translated by Lee Ren Hui

Lee Bing Kun receiving the “Filial Piety Award” on behalf of his late son, Ming Hoe, at the Tzu Chi Scholarship Presentation Ceremony.【Photograph by Tan LianHee】

"He was the one who did the house chores; and whenever I worked late, he would call me. He was a very caring son, never made us worry. Unfortunately, he has left us..." recalled 62-year old Lee Bing Kun, who sobbed quietly, not knowing how to express the pain of his son's demise. At the Tzu Chi Scholarship Presentation Ceremony, Tzu Chi presented the "Filial Piety Award" to the late Lee Ming Hoe for his filial goodness.


Guang Ming Daily reported that a 13-year old boy and his family from Melaka traveled to Johor Bahru to attend a relative's wedding. There, he went out for a ride with his 32-year old cousin and met with an accident. Their car went out of control and hit against a big pillar in the middle of the road, killing both of them.

September 13, 2013, was that fateful day and a very sad day indeed for Lee Bing Kun and his family. They have lost their most obedient son, Ming Hoe, forever. Lee Bing Kun was still grieving more than a month after the funeral.

"He was the one who did all the house chores. Sometimes when I worked late, he would call me, asking me what time I'll be back; and when I reached home, he would help me take off my shirt, because he knew that I could not raise my arms as they hurt. Then he would serve me water. He was really a very caring son, never let us worry about him," Mr Lee stuttered with tears in his eyes, as he recalled his 13years of unforgettable relationship with his son.

Ming Hoe's Primary School Teacher, Zhang Mei Hua said, "Although his performance was average, he was a very kind and obedient boy who liked to help others. Every teacher, who had taught him before, has only high praises for him."

On November 3, 2013 at the Tzu Chi Scholarship Presentation Ceremony, Mr Lee accepted on Ming Hoe's behalf, the "Filial Piety Award". Although this recognition was overdue, Mr Lee hoped that Ming Hoe's story could inspire other children to emulate his son's filial piety.

Every one present at the ceremony were touched by Ming Hoe's story, and offered their blessings to him. The children bowed down as they felt guilty, while the parents recalled the hardships when bringing up their children.

No child should drop out of school again

When Tzu Chi volunteers visited this family, they realized that the family had serious financial hardship, but they had never asked for help. Their children were very obedient, and were good students with average performances in school. When volunteers discovered that the children lacked extra-curricular reading materials, they brought some workbooks, dictionaries and story books for the children, as well as, helped them with their school work. Ming Hoe began to study hard and this had, in turn, inspired his brother, Ming Hong, to do the same. The two brothers would discuss school work together and look up the difficult words using dictionaries. As a result, their performances in school improved greatly.

Tzu Chi volunteer, Chiew Lay Moi, could still remember clearly the day that she brought used school uniforms for Ming Hoe, who had just started secondary education then. The latter was thrilled to receive the used uniforms, although they were larger in sizes, and was also very grateful and appreciative. His reaction moved Lay Moi.

"The eldest son of this family stopped schooling due to poverty, so it was likely the same fate awaits the two younger siblings. As such, we tried our best to help them, hoping that the family could walk out from poverty through education."

This year, volunteers nominated the two brothers for the Filial Piety Award under the Tzu Chi Scholarship scheme, hoping to encourage them with financial support. Before his demise, Ming Hoe had accomplished all the rules and objectives listed in the Scheme's booklet, and volunteers concurred that he was the most deserving recipient of this Award.

Filial piety in daily life

As elder brother, Ming Hong started working part-time after school to alleviate the family's burden. His father has always been sick and can only work on a project-to-project basis after sustaining injury at work. The meager incomes from his mother and eldest brother, however, are insufficient.

As Ming Hong will be in Form 4 next year and will have a heavier workload at school, volunteers advised him to focus more on his studies. But he insisted on working to help his family.

Of course, Ming Hong felt very sad about the loss of his younger brother. He recalled that before his younger brother met with the accident, he had prepared some sweets to share with his elder brothers. Sadly, this would just be a memory.

Ming Hong said, "My school results were not as good as my younger brother's, and he was also more caring and filial. Now that he is gone, I hope that I can do more to help my family." Although he was not good with words, his love for his family and care for his parents were apparent.

Ming Hong admitted that initially he was not very keen to continue with his secondary studies, as he could not master the Malay language and hence was slacking behind. However, his father forbade him to stop schooling, especially now with Ming Hoe's demise, and the encouragement from volunteers. Ming Hong eventually agreed to finish his secondary education.



Ming Hong revealed, "Ming Hoe had wanted to go to university and support the family after that. Before the fateful day, he had saved RM50/-, which he passed on to my other brother, for my birthday celebration, but my birthday is at the end of the year…"

In an effort to repay society, Mr Lee plans to donate Ming Hoe's scholarship on his behalf, "I want half of his scholarship to go to the charity fund and the other half to the medical fund. This is because I am also receiving medical treatment from Tzu Chi Medical Center, so I hope to give something back."

Mr Lee added, "I hope that Ming Hong can work hard on his studies, and I don't mind working harder." With Ming Hoe's departure, Mr Lee is now pinning his hopes on Ming Hong to study harder for his future!

"We can tell that the children of this family have very good upbringing, but just lacked someone to help them with their studies. Therefore, we will accompany Ming Hong on his studies in the future," said Lay Moi.

 

Tzu Chi volunteers nominated Lee Ming Hoe and Lee Ming Hong for the Filial Piety Award under the Tzu Chi Scholarship scheme, to encourage them to continue with their studies with financial support.【Photograph by Lee Kin Chee】   Lee Ming Hong presented his father with a cup of tea. As he was not good with words, his love for his father was kept in his heart.【Photograph by Lee Kin Chee】

Tzu Chi volunteers nominated Lee Ming Hoe and Lee Ming Hong for the Filial Piety Award under the Tzu Chi Scholarship scheme, to encourage them to continue with their studies with financial support.【Photograph by Lee Kin Chee】
 
Lee Ming Hong presented his father with a cup of tea. As he was not good with words, his love for his father was kept in his heart.【Photograph by Lee Kin Chee】
 
Lee Bing Kun shared the story of his son, Ming Hoe, hoping that his filial goodness will be emulated by other children.【Photograph by Lee Kin Chee】  

Lee Bing Kun shared the story of his son, Ming Hoe, hoping that his filial goodness will be emulated by other children.【Photograph by Lee Kin Chee】
 

 

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