Please note that the official Markus Ng Memorial Website has moved to http://markusng.last-memories.com due to hosting problems with this old site. Please update your bookmarks and help spread the word about the move.
This memorial website was created in the memory of our loved one, Markus Ng who was born in Malaysia on May 06, 1985. Markus passed away suddenly in his sleep in his family home in Kuala Lumpur on February 04, 2009 at the age of 23.
UK Memorial Service for Markus Ng
The Essex Malaysian Society together with Reverend Thomas Yap from the Chaplaincy Centre will be organising a memorial service for Markus Ng. All who knew him and have worked with him in the past are invited to attend.
Details of the memorial service are as follows:
Date: Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Time: 6.00 PM (GMT)
Venue: The Chaplaincy Centre at the University of Essex, United Kingdom.
Thank You Note from Markus’ family [February 8, 2009]
MARKUS NG CHUNG YAU
Departed on February 4, 2009
We wish to express our heartfelt thanks and sincere appreciation to our relatives; SSGC Gospel Centre and other church members; colleagues, friends and associates of our son Markus Ng for all your condolences, contributions, donations, wreaths and prayers during this time of bereavement. We are deeply moved by the tributes and testimonies from those whose lives he had touched, as expressed in his memorial website at http://markusng.memory-of.com
My Hope Is In Dying To Live.
Death I Fear You Not ! In God I Trust
(quoted from Markus Ng's blog, October 7, 2008)
Dato' Dr. Vincent Ng, Datin Dr. Ang Kim Teng & family.
Letter To My Brother
by David Ng [February 7, 2009]
Words just cant express how I feel right now. It's been 3 days since you've gone and a part of me is still in denial. I ask God "why did you have to go so early?" You had so much more to offer.
Papa, mama, Peter and I went through a period of great grief. A sorrow so deep that there was a point where I felt completely shattered and did not know where to start picking up the broken pieces from.
We miss you so dearly.. I think that papa feels that there was so much he wanted to tell you, so much wisdom & knowledge that he wants to impart to you, but did not have the opportunity to do so. I cannot imagine his shock the morning he found you on your bed. Mama misses you, how you never fail to ask her “how was your day?” when she fetches you back from work each evening. Peter is grief-stricken too, he was the last one you emailed just hours before your death.
I will miss all the good times we had together. It’s been my pleasure being a brother to you for the past 23 years. I’ve seen you grown up into a man after God’s heart, growing in wisdom and stature and touching many lives as you go along the way.
I remember the times when we were young. Playing together as brothers, having simple fun with one another. I remember the time while we were still in Mentakab, we used to play and pretend as if were travelling in a plane, visiting places all over the world. We would take papa& mama's travel suitcases, arrange them on the floor as if we were sitting in a plane. I'd become the captain, you and Peter were the passengers. We took out the big atlas book and you’d would point to where you want to go, and I 'flew' both of you there.
I remember when you first started playing football. I used to teach you tricks and dribbled around you while you were younger. Over the years, you grew more skillful and became a better player than what I am today.
I remember how you first picked up guitar and I taught you a thing or two. Over the years, you grew better, began composing your own songs and became a tutor to many others. Have i told you that your songs sound good? You must have heard that many times already. I love the way you write your lyrics, how you beautifully & truthfully express yourself on your struggles. I am at awe at how you manage to write your lyrics and yet add a nice jazzy tune to it. I remember two weeks ago when you played the guitar for me and sang two songs that you were still halfway through in composing. I guess now, we’ll never be able to hear those songs again.
Over the years, you have grown so much in the Lord. We used to attend different churches ever since we came to PJ. I was comfortable in GA with my friends, but the family moved on to SSGC. I myself am not sure why I did not follow the family, but looking back, I think it gave us time & space to grow and flourish in our own special ways. I had the opportunity to serve and lead in my youth and music team, and you were able to develop and stand up on yourself, not always under the shadows of your elder brother.
We had a memorable wake service. Many of your friends, relatives and even people whom did not know you came. They were all saddened at your lost. We were so blessed to see the crowd, it moved us to tears to see all the people you knew coming to mourn at the service. Some stood up and testified on the footprints you left in their lives.
We really thank God for all the people who came to show their support- your childhood friends, the people from TGC, your secondary school friends, collegemates, unimates, churchmates, football kakis, the people from ibridge, the PJ vigil, Unicef, the Headstart group and so many more which I cannot even recall.
Their presence, support and testimonies gave us so much encouragement. It really helped us during this time of despair.
We are so proud of you. We are proud to know that your death is not in vain. We are proud to know that you have made a difference in many lives that you came in contact with during your short time here. You were a friendly person, full of humility and also had a vision for a better Malaysia. I could see your love for the country, to see our country united under one banner, under one race called bangsa Malaysia. I hope this dream comes true and I too dare hope for a better future. You know, we sang 'Negaraku' at your memorial service. It was so unconventional, but yet I know if you were there, that was what you would have wanted.
We put a few of your favourite things into your coffin. There was your bible in there, your 'Anak Bangsa Malaysia' name cards, your favourite shirt, your football and boots. Hey, your comrade at PJ vigil has also left behind the Anak Bangsa Malaysia cap which you wanted very much. Then there were also letters from your Essex unifriends / course mates.
Found 3 guitar picks in your wallet. Peter took one and exchanged it with another of his pick. I took the orange one and replaced it with my orange pick (its still brand new). Keep it for me yah.. I'll collect it back from you when I meet you in heaven. Till then, keep playing songs for God!
Sigh.. It feels like you have left for a long trip and we are saying goodbye to you. The difference is that you have already made it to the end of your journey and will never come back here.
You have fought the good fight, finished the race and kept the faith. Cheer us on as we complete our own race. I remember the lyrics of your song ‘feeling blue’.. You ran and you ran, without knowing where you’d land.. All weary, from that aimless journey, that you began.. Now, it is time for you to rest. No more running, now safe in the arms of our Lord Jesus.
Your departure doesn't change the fact that God is good. He cares, He loves us, and He is faithful. Dear Lord, grant us the comfort, grace and strength in time of our greatest sorrow. Heal those wounds, help us to pick up all the broken pieces. Make us whole again, renew our joy. Thank you so much for Markus!
I’ll miss you my brother, my football partner, music buddy. Our family misses you dearly. We rest assured knowing that one day, we will all be united again.
Lots of love,
February 7, 2009
Message from Markus’ family [February 5, 2009]
To all of Markus’ friends and extended family:
Thank you all so much for the support shown to the family and all the heart-warming tributes to Markus. The family is truly touched by all the messages from everyone who has come together to share stories about Markus and how he has touched your lives.
You must all be wondering what actually happened to Markus. The truth is until now, the cause of his death is still not certain. Postmortem findings were negative. It could be a cardiac arrhythmia (disarray of heart rhythm) and cardiac arrest.
The family is still trying very hard to cope with this sudden loss. Markus was not an ordinary son, friend and person. He was a future leader who genuinely cared for the society and the country. In fact, he had been in contact with former student leaders from the UK to nurture the next generation of political leaders for the country. Markus had truly been an exceptional young man and his passing is a great loss to the family, his friends and the country.
May he rest in peace and the memory of him live on forever.
The Last Supper
by Alvin Ung [February 6, 2009]
To the family and friends of Markus,
I write this with the knowledge that many of you know Markus, and love him, with deep and tender affection.
Alas, I knew Markus all too fleetingly. I met Markus on only four occasions. In that short time, I've been struck by Markus’ deep love for the Lord Jesus Christ, his passionate love for our country, and the bond of friendships woven across racial and religious lines.
The reason why I am writing this is because I represent the Headstart group which Markus belongs to. Together – the twelve of us – we were among the last ones to bid farewell to Markus on Tuesday night. And I may have been the last person to wave goodbye to him. (Markus was called home on Wednesday morning).
Let me tell you more about the last supper with Markus.
On Tuesday evening, shortly after nine o'clock, Markus rang the doorbell of my apartment. He arrived late, somewhat breathless. He was here to join us for the first Headstart small group session. Headstart, as some of you know, comprises a small group of committed Christian young adults who have made a covenant to help one another grow in their discipleship with Jesus Christ in the workplace. Headstart is a ministry of the Graduates Christian Fellowship.
Markus arrived just in time to share with us the moments he felt most and least grateful over the past week. He had a crazy week at work, he said. Long hours. He lamented how he wasn’t able to spend Chinese New Year with the family. However, he expressed gratitude for the opportunity last Friday to enjoy a deep and heartfelt conversation with a few trusted friends. From that brief sharing, it was evident that Markus valued spiritual friendships that went beyond the superficial.
Like the rest of us, Markus had signed a group covenant. Together, we pledged that we would pray for one another. We would endeavor to be as open as we knew how in our sharing. We would listen to one another. We would encourage, support and trust one another. Then as a group, we stood up and waved aloft our signed agreement. Markus waved his, too. We congratulated each other. We gave one another fist bumps. We laughed.
Then came an awkward moment. As a group, we had to decide whether to permanently eject one of our Headstart members because she didn’t show up for the first meeting. When I posed the question on what we should do, the room fell silent. I scanned the room for faces. Most people avoided eye contact. Silence. But Markus had a smile on his face – a half-crooked smile, a broad smile that stretched from cheek to cheek. He spoke up first: "Why so serious? Just let her in lah." Markus' remarks released a chorus of agreement from everyone else.
It's always hard to be the first one to speak up, especially in a potential awkward situation. But Markus spoke up. Markus stood up for a voiceless person, someone who wasn’t there to speak up for herself. And he did it with class... and a smile. It was only later on that I learned that Markus had been standing up for the voiceless for many years. He spoke up against unjust laws. He spoke up for the poor and marginalized. In speaking, he gave the power for others to speak. Let us also speak up on behalf of the voiceless.
At about nine-thirty, that Tuesday night, I asked if everyone had read the two assigned chapters of reading – nearly 40 pages. The confident look in Markus' eyes told me he had. It was an almost challenging look: "C’mon, test me, I’ve read it." He looked confident, not combative. He relished a challenge. It was only later on that I learned how busy he was over the past few weeks. Yet he found the time to read.
As the night passed, while the group discussion was going on, my wife and I cajoled Markus to eat something. We knew he'd missed dinner. We offered him snacks, Tim Tams, bread with bak kua. But he politely said no each time. "My mother has bought something for me to eat," he whispered. "I'll eat it after the meeting ends."
At about 10.15pm, our Headstart group of 12 people separated into three breakout sessions. Markus join my sub-group, together with two others, Ernest and Charis. Though all four of us had just gotten to know one another, we launched into a deep, earnest conversation about education, friendships, and church. Markus shared about his assumptions about relationships. We also invited one another to critique our assumptions about life. I shared about how, from young, I've seen education as a pathway to success. Markus immediately challenged me: "What's your definition of success? If you don't define success, you'll soon be a lost soul. And you'll end up living a selfish life." Amen, brother, amen.
Later on, I asked for prayer requests. Markus cleared his throat. "I'm not sure whether I should share this or not." He paused. I could hear an internal struggle. "Okay, I'll take the plunge. As the group covenant says, 'I will endeavor to be as open, as I know how, in sharing with the group.’" And so for 10 minutes, he shared from the heart. In his honesty, we could identify with his struggles, the adrenaline buzz, the oscillating emotions. But beyond the contents of his sharing, I remember being struck by two things. First, he could quote verbatim the line from our group covenant. He must have had an amazing memory. And secondly, he took the group seriously. He was willing to take the plunge. He was the first to build the bridge of trust. Markus, your legacy will live in our group.
And then we prayed. Once again, I recalled Markus starting us off, asking God for forgiveness for the assumptions we made about life. Markus asked for wisdom, for all of us, in developing the marker points in the process of discerning God’s will in our lives.
By the time prayer was over, it was 11.15pm. The Headstart session was officially over. But we were still standing around talking.
I was in the kitchen helping Markus warm up the food for his last supper: rice, curry vegetables and fried kembong.
"Whoa, that's a lot of rice!" I exclaimed.
"It's a lot, isn't it?" he said. He scooped back half the rice into the paper packet. I gave him a rubber band to secure the package.
While he stepped out of the kitchen (the group needed to fix our next meeting date), I warmed the rice in the microwave. Fifty seconds. When I brought out the plate of food, my wife Huey Fern asked: "You sure it's hot enough?" So I used my finger to poke the rice, and the fish (that's what I usually do with my own food; I’d forgotten that I was poking Markus' meal.) Markus saw me do it. He just smiled.
When he finished his meal, he disappeared into the kitchen to wash the plate, the fork and the spoon. I've always appreciated people who insist on washing the plates (saves me the work!). Most guests don't offer; others offer to wash, but then they desist when my wife tells them they don’t have to. But Markus simply did it without announcing his intention. That gave me an indicator of his servant spirit.
By now it was 11.45pm. Markus had finished his last supper. One by one, the group members went home, leaving only the three of us – Markus, Huey Fern and I. Markus did not seem in a rush to leave. We talked about his work at UNICEF. While he felt ambivalent about working in a global organization such as UNICEF, he was incredibly dedicated to its projects. He needed to go back to his office in Damansara Heights, he explained. He needed to look through the final logistical details for a camp jointly organized with the Ministry of Education, that's being held for 20 children in Melaka on Wednesday morning.
"Everything's running fine, actually," he said. "But I've not had the opportunity to do one final look-through . I’ve got to make sure that things run smoothly, especially on the transportation side. Then I can go to sleep knowing that everything is all right."
At fifteen minutes past midnight, we were still chatting at the table. Finally we got up. Markus hoisted two bags on his shoulders. He wore his black leather shoes. He said good night to Huey Fern. He was about to close the door of our condo, but I walked out onto the corridor. I walked with him to the lift on the second floor. He looked puzzled.
"This is the Penang tradition," I said.
"What do you mean?" he said.
"Well, Penangites usually walk their guests out of the house. Then they stand at the gate and wave goodbye. Since I live in a condo, I'm walking you to the lift."
He walked into the lift. I saw the doors close behind him as he waved good night.
Good night, Markus. Death is a revolving door. We’ll see you on the other side of Paradise.
p.s. The door bell rang a few minutes later. Markus again. He looked sheepish. "I left my food behind," he said. I looked behind me. There it was: the unfinished curry rice, wrapped in a wadded pile of newspaper on our dining table, bound by a rubber band. Markus gratefully scooped up the package, and walked away with his last supper.