Malaysia Airlines flight 17

'My parents are watching from heaven': Son pays tribute to Hong Kong chef and mother killed on MH17

PUBLISHED : Monday, 21 July, 2014, 10:35am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 22 July, 2014, 10:41am

The only son of a celebrated chef from Hong Kong who died on the downed Malaysia Airlines jet has vowed to carry on his father's Rotterdam restaurant business "with a smile".

Kevin Fan made the online pledge before meeting family and friends yesterday at Asian Glories, his late parents' Chinese restaurant in the Dutch port city.

His father Fan Shun-po, known as Popo, and Malaysian-born mother, Jenny Loh, were among the 298 passengers and crew on board the doomed Flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.

Jenny's elderly mother, Tan Siew Po, was also on board the flight which crashed in eastern Ukraine after apparently being brought down by a surface-to-air missile believed to have been fired by pro-Russian separatists.

Dutch investigators yesterday inspected the 272 bodies so far recovered, which had been loaded on to a train in the rebel-held town of Torez.

The United Nations was yesterday poised to adopt a resolution that would condemn the downing of the plane, and demand that those responsible be held accountable.

Before yesterday's meeting at the Rotterdam restaurant, Kevin Fan posted a lengthy Facebook message to thank family and friends for their support.

"As my mom Jenny always said, 'We can get through anything; it is the feelings that we cannot get over'," he wrote. "If you can manage yourself, everything will pass. I will carry on this lesson throughout my life."

Fan promised to take on the running of his parents' Michelin-recommended business.

"For the coming time I will be busy handling the business regarding this tragedy," he wrote in the Facebook message. "My focus will be on Asian Glories afterwards. It will keep me busy and distract me from the loss.

"Jenny and Popo have lived their life to the fullest, a life in which they have worked hard to build up something that has made me proud ... I know that my parents are watching upon us from heaven. So let us be strong and face this with a smile."

Fan's parents migrated to the Netherlands in 1978. Every year, they would visit their respective hometowns, usually flying first to Hong Kong, then to Malaysia.

But this year they changed their routine to take Jenny's visiting mother home to Penang.

Last night, Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb joined a silent city walk to Asian Glories in tribute to the tragic couple.

Associated Press, Reuters