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Nicholas Cheng
Monday, Sep 8, 2014

Malaysia

Special gift from MH370 mum

The Star/ANN | Nicholas Cheng | Monday, Sep 8, 2014

A woman writes a message on a board for family members of passengers onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 at the Malaysian Chinese Association headquarters in Kuala Lumpur on April 6, 2014.

KUALA LUMPUR - Six-year-old Shim Wei woke up on the morning of her birthday to find a Hello Kitty doll by her bedside.

Her mother had bought it and stowed it away in one of her check-in bags, planning to give it to Shim Wei on her birthday yesterday.

The Hello Kitty found its way into the little girl's arms yesterday morning but not her mother - flight stewardess Tan Ser Kuin, 41, who was serving on board the vanished Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

"She (Tan) is like that. Everywhere she went, she would buy the toys if they were cheaper there. She bought the doll months ago and kept it in the luggage bag.

"She told me that we would give it to our daughter on her birthday," said Tan's businessman husband, who only wanted to be known as Shim.

He said his son, eight, and daughter would continue to receive presents from their absent mother, as she had "stockpiled" toys for them before the Boeing 777-200 she was serving on disappeared on March 8.

Tan was among 239 people on Flight MH370 when it lost contact over the South China Sea, six months ago today.

"When Shim Wei woke up and saw the doll, I told her that her mother had bought it for her. She liked it but she didn't say anything.

"She asked how could her mum buy it for her when she is not here," Shim said, adding that his children had been incessantly asking about their mother and MH370.

"Why did the aeroplane crash into the water? Why did they go the wrong way? Why so many (people) want to go to China?"

Those were just some of the many questions Shim, 38, had to deal with.

"I tell her, I don't know. Nobody knows. I would ask her if she has any questions because I want to know how she is feeling. Especially since this is her first birthday without her mother," he said.

Sharing his conversation with his daughter to The Star, Shim said Shim Wei misses Tan's face and kisses the most.

"Now I can never give her a morning kiss, night kiss and afternoon kiss," the girl said.

"If she's back I will hug her very tight for so many days. If mummy is here I want to study with her and tell her that I love her," said the child in a recorded conversation with her father.

Shim said it had been difficult adjusting to life without his wife.

"I didn't feel like doing anything for Shim Wei's birthday.

"Every year I would celebrate with my wife but I just didn't feel like it now.

"We stayed at home," he said.

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