BUKIT MERTAJAM, MALAYSIA: Singer Loh Guik Hong, who was found dead at the foot of a condominium block in Gurney Drive on Saturday, had planned to retire but put it off following pleas from her fans.
A close friend of Loh told newsmen yesterday that the singer was sick of the nightlife after being in the business for over 10 years.
"One year ago, she had to undergo a knee operation after consuming slimming pills and began thinking of retiring," he said yesterday at Loh's family home in Kampung Berapit.
"However, her diehard fans were strongly against it."
Loh was cremated at the Berapit Cremato-rium here at about noon yesterday after some 150 relatives and friends paid their last respects. A Taoist priest conducted the final rites.
The friend said Loh planned to start her own business. He also said Loh suffered from insomnia, adding that she had been in depression for three years, but only sought medical treatment a year ago.
At yesterday's ceremony, the family allowed reporters to take pictures but did not speak to them.
Among those at the funeral was Loh's godsister, Lim Hui Ting, 26, who lived with Loh at the Gurney Drive condominium. She was seen holding Loh's pet dog, Yuki.
Loh, 39, who was fondly known by her fans as Xue Liang (Snow Bright), is believed to have fallen from the 12th floor of the condominium block at about 7.15am. A post-mortem showed traces of alcohol in her stomach. Police ruled out foul play and classified the case as sudden death.
Meanwhile, a relative said Loh wore an eye mask to sleep, which could have been mistaken for a surgical mask as reported in newspapers.
He also clarified that Loh was in a sleeping gown when she fell but the gown had torn, adding that Loh used to stand at the balcony and smoke. The family believed that she might have slipped and fell.
"It might also be due to the effects of her medication," he said. "She is an optimistic iron lady and couldn't have taken her own life."
He also described her as a filial daughter who visited her parents every week and never forgot to call her family regularly.