Over 100 friends and family members pay last respects to Popiah King’s son Ben Goi

Mr Ben Goi’s father, Mr Sam Goi (centre, in black), and family members at the funeral service held on Thursday (Feb 7).
The Straits Times

More than 100 family members and friends paid their last respects to businessman Ben Goi, son of Popiah King Sam Goi, on Thursday morning (Feb 7).

Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan was among those seen speaking with Mr Sam Goi at the funeral service held on Thursday at the Bukit Timah home of Mr Ben Goi.

Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan (centre) speaking to Mr Sam Goi at the funeral service of Mr Ben Goi.
The Straits Times

Mr Goi was 43 when he died in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday morning of a stroke.

His casket left for Mandai Crematorium at around 9.30am. Mourners could be seen sobbing as they put their hands on his hearse and accompanied it out of the family’s home.

At the funeral service, Mr Sam Goi said in his eulogy: “I wish that my youngest son can have a happy life in heaven as he did in life.”

“I must thank everyone for coming to my place and sending him off. I’m glad that so many people will think of him. He must feel very happy on his way to heaven.”

Mr Ben Goi’s casket leaving for Mandai Crematorium. Mourners could be seen sobbing as they put their hands on his hearse and walked him out of the family’s home.
The Straits Times

He also thanked politicians for coming to pay their respects over the Chinese New Year festivities.

Mr Sam Goi’s second child Laureen Goi choked up while delivering her eulogy. She said: “Meiling, (referring to Mr Goi’s wife Tracy Lee) you are part of the family, we will take care of you. We will take care of you even when Ben is not around.

“Papa and Mama, he will want us to be happy, let this go, and have strength going forward.”

Mr Ben Goi’s wife, Malaysia-born former TV actress Tracy Lee, was sobbed uncontrollably after placing flowers on his coffin. She later turned her back away from the crowd to compose herself.

During the cremation service, she could be heard crying out: “Goodbye hubby, goodbye. I will take care of your parents. Let’s meet in heaven.”

One of the mourners, Mr Christopher Sin, who was friends with the late Mr Goi for some 25 years, said: “We are from different backgrounds but to him, he doesn’t care where you’re from. If you’re a friend, he treats you like family. He has no airs.”

The 47-year-old, a manager in the semiconductor industry, said that on the night Mr Ben Goi died they were supposed to attend a reunion dinner with a group of close friends who called themselves “brothers”.

On Monday, ministers Heng Swee Keat, Masagos Zulkifli and Josephine Teo, as well as former foreign minister George Yeo were seen at Mr Ben Goi’s wake. Singapore artists, including Terence Cao, Chew Chor Meng and Zhu Houren, were also spotted there.

Mr Ben Goi was the chief operating officer of Tee Yih Jia, a food manufacturing business which his father expanded from a manufacturer of popiah – or spring roll – skin into a global Asian food company.

Mr Ben Goi’s sister Goi Lan Ling, told Shin Min Daily News on Tuesday that her brother had gone to Kuala Lumpur about a week earlier, with his wife, son and maid, to visit his wife’s family for Chinese New Year.

They were due to return on Sunday afternoon, and Mr Goi had even video-called his family in Singapore on Saturday night, sharing pictures of Chinese New Year decorations with them.

However, he suffered from an intense headache later that night, and asked his wife to call an ambulance.

After being taken to the hospital, where doctors worked to save him, he died at 4am on Sunday, said Ms Goi.

According to Shin Min, Mr Goi’s father said that he hoped that when he woke up, he would find it had all been a bad dream.

“I have lost my beloved son, this is a pain in my heart that will never be able to heal,” he said.

Mr Sam Goi, a father of four who is in his early 70s, was No. 14 on Forbes Singapore’s 50 Richest 2018 list with an estimated fortune of US$1.8 billion (S$2.4 billion).

In 2017, Mr Ben Goi married Ms Lee in a wedding that was widely covered in the media.

Ms Lee, 33, announced last May that she had given birth to their first child, a son.

In a 2017 interview with local magazine 8Days, she said she met her husband through mutual friends in 2010, but the couple started dating only in 2016.

Ms Goi told Shin Min that Mr Goi had been looking forward to celebrating his son’s first birthday on Feb 9.