'He is liberated': Aloysius Pang's parents give him a sea burial

Aloysius Pang was buried at sea on 28 January 2019 near Pulau Ubin by his family. (PHOTOS: AP, Dasmond Koh/Facebook)

Local actor Aloysius Pang, who recently died of injuries sustained during a military exercise in New Zealand, was buried at sea by his family on Monday (28 January).

Pang’s manager, Dasmond Koh, shared a heartbreaking message from his parents on social media as they deposited his ashes near Pulau Ubin, together with a photograph of a boat at sea.

“Aloysius’ parents would like me to convey this: He is liberated now,” wrote Koh in Chinese. Koh’s talent management agency, NoonTalk Media, posted an English translation of the same message on social media.

“We sailed across the calm waters on this cloudy afternoon,” Koh’s post continued. “At a spot near Pulau Ubin, we saw you descend slowly into the sea. This is the final farewell.

“You wouldn’t want to trouble anyone. It’s so you – the easy-going boy, as always. Thank you for trusting me, and for working so hard in the last few years. As you begin your free-spirited adventure, remember to wait for me.”

28-year-old Pang suffered crush injuries to his chest and abdominal areas on 19 January after being pinned between the end of the gun barrel and the interior of a Singapore Self-Propelled Howitzer – an artillery armoured vehicle – that he and two other SAF personnel were servicing.

The Channel 8 actor was a Corporal First Class (NS) in the 268th Battalion Singapore Artillery. He was an armament technician by vocation, one of more than 500 soldiers participating in Exercise Thunder Warrior in New Zealand. He died on 23 January after undergoing three surgeries at Waikato Hospital in Hamilton.

Thousands of mourners turned up at his wake over the weekend to pay their last respects, including celebrities and politicians.

He was cremated during a military funeral at Mandai Crematorium on Sunday afternoon. Crowds thronged the streets to bid him farewell as his hearse travelled from MacPherson to Mandai.

Following his death, the fourth Singapore Armed Forces (SAF)-training related fatality in 16 months, the military called for an army-wide safety timeout as well as reduction in training tempo across the army, navy and the air force. A Committee of Inquiry will be convened to find out what led to the incident that caused Pang’s injuries.

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