Yoga ball murder: sister recalls last conversation with victim the day before she died
Sisters spoke by phone about plan to bring children to France and Spain just one day before tragedy struck
If things had gone well, Wong Siew Fing, a passionate cook and loving mother, would have taken her children to Avignon, a vibrant city in France, in the summer of 2015, to sample the freshest produce at local food markets.
Then they would head south to Barcelona, Spain, for a taste of unique Catalonian cuisine.
That’s all she and her sister, Wong Siew Fong, talked about during a long-distance call on May 21, 2015.
But the plan never materialised. The next day, the Britain-based younger sister thousands of miles away was about to learn the heartbreaking news that turned her world upside down.
Siew Fing, 47, and her daughter, Lily Khaw Li Ling 16, died after being discovered unconscious in their car in Hong Kong.
“Shock and disbelief was my first reaction on hearing about their deaths,” the surviving sister recalled.
On Wednesday, Wong’s husband and Lily’s father, Khaw Kim Sun, 53, an associate professor at Chinese University, was jailed for life for their murders. In a unanimous verdict, a jury found Khaw guilty of placing a carbon monoxide-filled yoga ball in the car, causing them to suffer fatal gas poisoning.
Speaking exclusively to the Post, Wong Siew Fong shared her still vivid memories of Siew Fing and Lily, remembering them as a “generous” sister and “witty” niece.
Siew Fing, the eldest of four siblings, lived in a village north of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her family until they moved to Kuala Belait in Brunei when she was young.
Her childhood and teenage years, Siew Fong noted, were marked by a penchant for sports and music when she attended a Catholic school there.
As a girl, she also loved reading and excelled in English. She and her siblings would spend hours holed up in the library, reading books and annoying the librarian.
It was also then that she found her faith in Christianity, according to the younger sister.
Moving to London to pursue further studies in 1986, she picked up cooking because of the independent lifestyle required of a student living on her own abroad.
“She was an amazing cook and hostess, friendly and easy to talk to, while she rustled up food,” Wong recalled of her late sister.
Siew Fing’s marriage began to fall apart as she discovered Khaw was having an affair. A diary she kept and obtained by the Post showed she was left blaming herself for not doing enough for her family and friends.
But that was not how she was remembered by her younger sister. Siew Fong recalled that, soon after her sister moved to Hong Kong in 1996, she needed to move house in Britain.
She said Siew Fing flew back from Hong Kong to London with an 18-month-old daughter, her first, because she knew how to drive a van and could offer help.
“She was incredibly generous with her time, for family as well as friends, and helped them when they needed it,” she said. “She was often described by others as ‘gracious’ and ‘gentle’.”
After his arrest, Khaw once suggested to police that Lily might have placed the ball in the car because she wanted to commit suicide.
Yet Siew Fong described her niece as a “a normal, typical girl” who was “funny, surprisingly witty” and loved pranks but could also make fun of herself.
“The idea that Lily would commit suicide was just ridiculous,” the grieving aunt said.