IPOH: It was a bittersweet reunion of sorts as Malaysia’s beloved cartoonist, Lat, met up with the family of his late teacher, Lee Siew San today.
The reunion took place at the Catholic Church Of Our Mother Of Perpetual Help, in Taman Canning, where the wake is being held.
Lee passed away yesterday. She was 80.
Lee, better known as Mrs Hew, had served as the inspiration for one of the central characters in Lat’s famous ‘Kampung Boy’ series. With her unmistakable beehive hairdo and cats-eye spectacles, she was portrayed in the series as the strict disciplinarian teacher with a heart of gold.
Her influence extended far beyond the scope of the Kampung Boy series, as her family was flooded with messages of condolence from those who knew her.
Netizens also shared the family’s grief via comments on social media.
Lat, whose real name is Datuk Mohd Nor Khalid, spent time with Lee’s family members, sharing his memories of her with her husband Hew Chai Kee, 87, and the couple’s children.
Sharing his recollections of his wife, Hew said they had a policy of not interfering when either of them were disciplining their kids.
The couple’s three children, Cyril, Belinda and Alvin, also relived memories of their mother’s strict brand of parenting.
Cyril, 49, said he was a pupil at St Michael’s Institution, the same school his mother taught English at. He said he could hear his mother’s voice from the other classroom whenever she taught.
“I used to tell my friends, ‘That’s my mother’,” smiled Cyril, 49.
Cyril said their mother treated all her children the same, whether it was a scolding or when they were being spoilt.
“As for the disciplining part, there were three canes at home, all of different sizes. The thinnest had a rubber band wrapped around its edge.
“She used to ask which one should she use when disciplining us. She taught us to think wisely when making decisions in life," he said.
He said the children were lucky as their parents had instilled them with positive philosophies on life.
“My mother used to tell us to love what we do and do what we love, which we remember until today," he said.
Lee’s funeral service will be held this Saturday at the Catholic Church Of Our Mother Of Perpetual Help, Taman Canning from 1pm.