Mon, Mar 09, 2009
The New Paper
He was stylish, well-connected

By Crystal Chan

HE WAS featured in society magazine Singapore Tatler and was said to have dated celebrity blogger Dawn Yang.

Then, Singapore Armed Forces doctor Allan Ooi Seng Teik, 28, went Awol (absent without official leave) and left for Australia.

Captain (Dr) Ooi, who was found dead under the Westgate Bridge in Melbourne on Tuesday, came from a family of doctors and had friends in high society.

One of his friends, who declined to be named, told The New Paper that she was shocked to hear about his death.'I knew him and his brother, Adrian,' she said.

'I can't believe he died so suddenly. He was always cheerful when I saw him.'

She got to know Capt Ooi through mutual friends and often saw him at parties.

In 2007, a Singapore Tatler writer approached CaptOoi.

Said the friend: 'The magazine was looking to feature good-looking and stylish personalities and he fit the bill. He was quite 'on' about it as he had an outgoing personality.

'During the interview, he was asked about his relationships and he said that an ex-girlfriend had let him down, but didn't elaborate.'

She described Capt Ooi as a metrosexual who dressed in Paul Smith and designer clothes.

She said: 'He certainly looked like a rich boy, a stylish guy. He drove a Mazda MX5 then and liked Calvin Klein clothes.'

Around that time, there were several postings on Internet forums which claimed that Capt Ooi had courted Ms Yang, 23.

The friend said: 'I sent Allan an SMS, asking if the rumours were true but all he would say was that he knew Dawn.'

Capt Ooi's account on social networking site Facebook lists Ms Yang as one of his friends.

Ms Yang, who is studying in New York University, could not be reached for comment.

Allegedly unhappy at work

The last time the friend was in touch with Capt Ooi was late last year, when she sent him an SMS asking after him.

She said: 'Before that, he had asked me to go clubbing, but I didn't as I'm not into it. He was an avid clubber and often went to Zouk.'

Capt Ooi had told her that he was unhappy at his job in SAF.

SAF had given him a study award that required him to be bonded after graduation.

She said: 'He talked about leaving SAF but he didn't say why.

'Even then, I didn't think there would be any problems. Even if he wanted to break the bond, he could have easily paid it off as his family is rich.'

The friend does not know when and why CaptOoi went to Melbourne, but said he had friends who work there.

Capt Ooi's Facebook account lists four friends who studied at the RMIT University in Melbourne.

Former MTV veejay Nadya Hutagalung and rapper Sheikh Haikel were also listed as Capt Ooi's friends on Facebook.

It is not known how many years of his bond CaptOoi had served.

Capt Ooi's father, Dr Alex Ooi, 58, is a well-known gynaecologist and former president of the Tanglin Club.

His mother, Dr Lucy Ooi, 56, was a vice-president of the Society of Aesthetic Medicine and founding president of the Association of Women Doctors (Singapore).

Capt Ooi's elder brother, Adrian, is a doctor at the Singapore General Hospital.

His friend said he enjoyed card games and played bridge and poker with his friends.

One of his friends, Dr Elaine Neo, daughter of Dr Lily Neo, a Member of Parliament for Jalan Besar GRC, was too distraught to talk about her friend's death when The New Paper called her.

All she would say was: 'It's not the time to talk about this.'

But there was apparently another side to Capt Ooi.

Some of his friends said he also played poker for money.

A clip on video-sharing website YouTube showing Capt Ooi losing money to one of his friends after a poker game has been removed.

Capt Ooi's untimely death has prompted some bloggers to pen entries in his memory.

Mr Garry Huang, who was in the same basic military training (BMT) batch as Capt Ooi, wrote: 'It was quite a shock when I read in the papers today about the Awol and demise of Allan, especially in such unusual circumstances.

'He was a good pal in BMT, and very hardworking and promising. Frankly, he was quite an inspiration - I wanted to be like him in many areas.'

He added: 'I don't know why you went Awol, or why your body was found under the bridge in Melbourne, but I hope the answers will be found soon.'

A spokesman for the Melbourne police said evidence is still being gathered and will be presented to a coroner.

Dr Adrian Ooi declined to speak when The New Paper called him yesterday.

He said: 'I'm sorry, but it's a very bad time for my family. We're trying to arrange a lot of things.

'We're hoping Allan's body will be back within the next week.'

This article was first published in The New Paper

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