Thursday February 7, 2013
Estranged relatives bury four who were burnt to death
By EDMUND NGO and ELWEEN LOKE
IPOH: A family misunderstanding was put aside as kin of the four who were burnt to death made sure they were given a proper send-off.
Family members and friends who attended the funeral of S. Jayalatchumy and her three children, who perished together in a fire in Sungai Siput, said they were shocked by the tragedy.
Jayalatchumy's youngest brother Hari Rao, 34, said family members reclaimed the four bodies from the Sungai Siput hospital mortuary at 8pm on Tuesday and held a wake at his home in Kampung Baru Rimba Panjang, Sungai Siput until 2pm yesterday.
There was a large turnout close to 200 family members and friends paid their last respects.
Hari Rao said M. Rajan's story was one of rags-to-riches, as he was a factory operator who became a rubber tapper and finally an estate owner.
“My family has always been close to my sister and Rajan for the past 23 years but in the last two years, they have distanced themselves from us.
“I believe it could be due to a family misunderstanding which caused them to move to four different houses in Sungai Siput for the past two years,” he said.
Funeral rites were conducted at 2.30pm, before all four were taken to the Sungai Siput Hindu cemetery and cremated yesterday.
Hari Rao said that prayers would be conducted for nine days and their ashes would be scattered at Sungai Kerdah in Jalan Jalong Tinggi in Sungai Siput this morning.
Among those who paid their last respects were Sungai Siput Barisan chairman Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, Datuk S. Veerasingam, who was the special adviser to the Mentri Besar and Perak Barisan Nasional Youth representatives.
Sungai Siput Barisan coordinator R. Ganesan said that Samy Vellu presented RM5,000 to the family for the funeral expenses while Perak Barisan Youth presented some donations, including RM1,000 from Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir.
Separately, Sungai Siput OCPD Supt Azman Salim said that the family could have committed suicide as several facts pointed to this possibility.
He added that the family was last seen by neighbours at 7pm on Monday.
He said that the neighbours found the house very quiet most of the day until they heard an explosion at 12.10am on Tuesday.
It is learnt that the family had bought RM60 worth of petrol recently.
He said police did not find any criminal element in the incident.