Death and the undertaker

loading Mention death and many become visibly disturbed, expecting the spectre of the reaper to hover over their shoulders. Death has always been a taboo topic, especially so in Asian societies. (Daniel Lim)

When a family mourns a loved one recently departed, there is no greater help than that offered by the undertaker. pem talks to Ooi Thean Choo, a funeral director whose experiences have made him ever more philosophical and caring.

OOI THEAN CHOO, aka Ah Seng, is a soft -spoken, easygoing man who makes a living out of death. “I’ve been working as a funeral director for more than 20 years now. Though many in this profession inherit it as a family trade, for me, it was different. Before this I operated a drinks stall in a school at Jelutong and I was introduced to the business by another funeral director. He wanted me to scout out business for him, and I received commission. It was only when I injured my leg in 1993 that I decided to venture into this business full time. It is more lucrative than what I was doing before.”

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