Former husband under attack at emotional service

PUBLISHED : Monday, 03 March, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 03 March, 2008, 12:00am

Lydia Sum Tin-ha's former husband was forced to break his silence after a speaker at the memorial service demanded he explain why he had not been there for her before she died.

An emotional Alan Tang Kwong-wing, an actor and close friend of Sum, said during his tribute from the stage at the Coliseum that many of Sum's friends had vowed their unreserved support for her daughter, Joyce Cheng Yan-yee.

'Does she not have a father? Why does the responsibility have to go to her mother's good friends?' Tang said, pointing his finger at artist Adam Cheng Siu-chow, who was sitting behind his daughter.

Cheng and Sum separated 19 years ago. Cheng had not commented since Sum died and did not attend her funeral in Vancouver last week.

'Why does Cheng Siu-chow only appear now? You come up on the stage and tell us what you have done for Ah Fei and your daughter all these years,' Tang said to loud applause.

Cheng, who was not on the list of guests to pay tribute to Sum, walked up to the stage with his daughter.

'I have not been able to take care of Yan-yee properly because Fei Fei sent her to Canada after our marriage failed,' he said.

'As to why I could not attend [her funeral] ... I can only tell you the truth. Should I say it?' he asked his daughter. But the true picture remained unclear.

Cheng said that in the past few months, every time he had asked to have dinner with his daughter, she had said she wanted to spend more time with her mother.

'I asked if I could visit Fei Fei in the hospital. But Yan-yee told me that every time she was visited by friends, she pretended that she was all right but felt worse afterwards,' he said.

When he wanted to see Sum in the intensive care unit, his daughter had told him to wait till she got out.

But Cheng's response failed to placate Sum's fans, as some in the audience booed and shouted, 'terrible man' and 'shut up'.

His daughter asked the audience not to allow gossip to affect the occasion of remembering her mother. She blamed misunderstandings for what had happened.