S'pore lady, 90, regrets giving away daughter 63 years ago, seeks help reuniting with her

The family hopes to help her fulfill this final wish.

Zhangxin Zheng | November 30, 2020, 04:36 PM

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An elderly woman in Singapore is seeking help from the public to reunite with her long lost daughter.

According to the grandchildren of 90-year-old Chew Geok Kheng, this matter has been weighing on her mind.

However, Chew had to bring up four children single-handedly after her husband's passing so she did not have the capacity to look for this daughter.

Chew has been falling ill quite often recently and that prompted her family to attempt to find her again.

Given away due to superstitious belief

Chew's husband left behind a handwritten letter after they gave this child away before his passing in 1964, according to their grandson Harapan Santoso Ong.

Letter by Ong Seh Thong, via Harapan Santoso Ong.

According to the letter, the couple gave their daughter away because of the superstitious belief.

Chew fell very ill after giving birth to this daughter.

It was believed to be caused by inauspicious palm lines on the daughter's palms and a clash in the birth dates between the mother and daughter.

The couple's neighbour and a fortune teller that they consulted told them to give the daughter away to keep Chew safe.

On Nov. 24, 1957, the couple left the baby girl at a Catholic orphanage.

This has become the couple's greatest regret in life which is why Chew's husband wrote the letter to detail information related to this incident.

Here's a translated excerpt from the letter:

"It breaks my heart to know that barely a month after this poor girl’s birth that she has become the victim of superstition and hence lost the love of her mother. This is my greatest regret in my life as a parent. Hence, I am writing this as a record of this event."

The person they are looking for is in her 60s now

Here are some details of this woman that the family is looking for, according to the letter:

  1. She was born on Oct. 26, 1957. That means she is 63 years old this year.
  2. Her given name at birth was Ong Seok Leng (王淑玲).
  3. The last three numbers of her birth certificate are ***804.
  4. She's the third child of the family, her siblings are called Ong Seok Mui and Ong Kwee Hong. Her father is Ong Seh Thong and her mother is Chew Geok Kheng.
  5. She was given away to a Catholic church orphanage on Nov. 24, 1957, next to Shen Nong Medicinal Hall where Carlton Hotel currently stands (along Bras Basah Road).

Mothership understands from the family that it's likely that the child was left at the Home for Abandoned Babies which was known for taking in abandoned babies back in 1957.

Back then, parents would leave their young children at the convent's gate also called the Gate of Hope.

Gate of Hope preserved as part of the current CHIJMES complex. Photo via Google Maps.

The family have tried to contact Infant Jesus Home & Children's Centre which used to be the convent at CHIJMES but have not yet received any news from them.

If you have any information about this person that the family is looking for, you can reach out to Ong via Facebook or email him at [email protected]

Top image via Harapan Ong and Google Maps

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