Singapore celebrities and fans of local actor Aloysius Pang were among hundreds who turned up at his wake on Saturday (26 January) to mourn his death after he sustained grave injuries during a military exercise in New Zealand.
Pang’s showbiz friends who attended the memorial at 82A Macpherson Lane included Zoe Tay, Chen Shu Cheng, Rayson Tan, Lin Mei Jiao, Christopher Lee, Fann Wong, Chen Hanwei, Qi Yu Wu, Joanne Peh and Guo Liang.
Tan said to reporters, ” I treated him like a brother because he was very mature in thinking. He was a very good kid and very mature.”
“I couldn’t believe it when I heard the news,” said Lin. “This incident is very sad for the entertainment industry. I have a very good impression of him. When working together, he would give you space and not disturb you. But when you needed him, he would be there.”
Acting couple Lee and Wong sent flowers and a card with the message: “In loving memory of our dear beloved Aloysius Pang: Sunshine fades and shadows fall but sweet remembrance outlasts all. Our deepest sympathies and heartfelt condolences.”
18-year-old fan of Pang, Je, said, “I’ve watched him (on TV) since I was in primary school. I met him last year during a meet-and-greet; he was a very nice person. He took my phone and took a selfie but the the picture was blurry. I said to myself that I hoped to see him and take another picture.”
Teo, a 22-year-old student who declined to give her full name, went with more than 70 friends, including 30-odd members of Pang’s fan club, Pangsters. She had travelled from Jurong and queued for more than 30 minutes.
“We were crying for two days and two nights and couldn’t sleep,” said Teo, who had watched Pang in his last Channel 8 drama, 29 February.
The late Corporal First Class (National Service) Pang will be accorded a military funeral before being cremated at Mandai Crematorium on Sunday, said the Ministry of Defence in a statement.
Pang suffered injuries to his chest and abdominal areas last Saturday after being caught between the end of the gun barrel and the interior of a Singapore Self-Propelled Howitzer that he and two other SAF personnel were servicing.
The 28-year-old actor, an armament technician from the 268th Battalion Singapore Artillery, was one of more than 500 soldiers participating in Exercise Thunder Warrior in New Zealand.
Despite undergoing three operations, Pang’s condition worsened and he was placed on artificial life support at the intensive care unit in Waikato Hospital in Hamilton. He succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday night.
His girlfriend, actress Jayley Woo, went public about their relationship after his death and joined the outpouring of grief from Singaporeans.
Following his death, the fourth Singapore Armed Forces (SAF)-training related fatality in 16 months, top SAF commanders called for an army-wide safety timeout as well as reduction in training tempo across the army, navy and the air force. An investigation is being carried out to find out what led to the incident that caused Pang’s injuries.