Neoh Lay Choo (04/11/1962 – 11/02/2012)


Lay Choo left us suddenly on 11th February 2012. She was only 49. She left behind her loving Husband Chan Sze Chin, an architect, and 2 lovely girls, Crystal Chan Yen Wei and Claire Chan Yen Hwa who are already 19 and 13 years old.

Crystal penned down her thoughts about her mother which she and her family would like to share with us here today. This is what she wrote:-

“She is my loving and hardworking mother. In fact, there are no words that can describe how great and wonderful she is. As her daughter, I’m fortunate to have such a kind-hearted mother who takes care of me dearly. She always works hard to earn as much as possible so that I can have a comfortable life. Also, she always reminds me that we should be humble and be grateful for what we have now. Watching her working and taking care of the family 24/7 non-stop, I really admire her perseverance and dedication. It makes me realize that a life of a working mother is not easy at all. Therefore, I swear to myself that I’ll study hard and take care of her when she grows old. However I would never have thought she will leave so suddenly. I didn’t have the chance to take care of her, to repay her for what she did. Now, I just want to let her know that I’ll always love her till the very end.”

Thank you, Crystal, for sharing.

Lay Choo was a partner at Messrs Tay & Partners. She was at the cross road of her career, as both a loving mother and a legal practitioner. Her daughter Claire had wanted to continue her studies in Singapore. Lay Choo therefore sought employment in Singapore and was to embark on the next chapter of her life when tragedy struck. I would now like to read her colleague, Ms Lau Lee Jan’s tribute to her late partner.

“She was a very dedicated and responsible person, always the last person leaving the office. We hardly saw her on any medication or annual leave. It seems like WORK was her No. 1 passion. She was appreciated by all who have known her.

She was a sincere person, caring and humble. In our eyes, she was a strong and die-hard lady, but by a cruel twist of fate, she succumbed to the biggest enemy called “CANCER”. The disease was diagnosed in October 2011 and within 4 months she was cruelly taken away from all her love ones.

Even though she is gone now, her beautiful spirit will always live in our hearts. We lost a great colleague and above all a good friend.”

Thank you, Lee Jan.

The Lay Choo that we all know was of a quiet and genteel nature. A rather private lady; unassuming and soft spoken. But underlying that quiet exterior was a tenacious spirit less seen by others. This I learnt through our ventures into the Nature. Whenever she could make time, Lay Choo would trek the hills and mountain slopes with us. I remember that on her maiden climb, Sze Chin and Crystal came along. It rained. Yet undaunted, and despite the slipperiness, she too bravely trudged up and down Gunung Lambak.

Lay Choo was not particularly athletic but her sheer tenacity and determination saw her through many climbs through the rain and shine, and ultimately even scaling the summit of Mount Kinabalu in 2004. She was elated, as indeed she should be.

Lay Choo had the zest and love for life. She enjoyed travelling and was game for new experiences and adventure.

As a practitioner for the last 24 years, she was always conscientious and respectful to all and sundry. There never was any whisperings of ill about Lay Choo. That stands testimony to the lovely person that she was.

Lay Choo’s Cancer was the rare type of non-smoker lung cancer. She’s never lit a cigarette in her life and yet.

It was just like Lay Choo; she fought her battle with the dreaded disease in private for about 4 months, not wanting anyone other than family to know for fear of inconveniencing us.

In her short stint on Earth, Lay Choo was accepting of all life’s experiences and people who crossed path with her. To Lay Choo, requisite to friendship is the acceptance of each other’s individuality. That was her gift to us.

I imagine that if there were any last words Lay Choo would like to leave us with, it might be this gentle reminder – “Live life Now, for we know not what tomorrow holds.”

My Lord, Lay Choo, her Family and friends, and Members of the Bar would like to thank you for gracing this occasion, and asked that the notes of today’s proceedings be preserved in the archives of this Honourable Court , and a copy extended to her family.

Prepared by

Tay Bee Choo

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