27th February 1955 – 24th May 2014
My papa, my hero
This page is dedicated to a man by the name of Daniel Chua Oon Hian, loving husband and wonderful father. To the children, he is adoringly called "papa" and to his wife as "Daniel".
Papa was born on 27th February 1955 and he was called home to the Lord on 24th May 2014 at 10.42 am in Gleneagles Hospital. We all love and miss him very, very much…even till this day we all think of him.
Papa Daniel was born on 27th February 1955 in a poor family, and without a father figure in his life. Without money or father to guide and take care of the family, life was tough.
But papa, he wasn't the type to complain. He wasn't the type to wallow in self pity either.
Instead, he focused all his strengths, hopes and wisdom into improving his and his family's lives. He helped to fix whatever he could, in the house – this eventually led him to be very good with his hands. He could fix anything – be it cars, housing.
He learned a very crucial skill which he would talk about later in his life – his ability to observe and learn a master at work, and then reverse-engineer the solution he wants. He's done this for noodles preparation, coffee, and even the home improvement stuff.
When nothing needed fixing, he was very good at nurturing and caring – he loves fishes such as kois and tetras, he loves dogs. He would build aquariums and custom made water filter for the fishes.
He won a scholarship to New Zealand for his tiertery education, but as his mum had no money to send him there - they couldn't even afford the plane ticket - he skipped the scholarship.
Undaunted, he decided to work full time as a medical sales representative, and to study for his Higher School Certificate (HSC), which is equivalent to an A-Level cert today. He would work hard in the day, and at night, he would return home and study through the night.
He was a hardworking man, and his level of dedication was obvious, even to his then boss, who supported his education and encouraged him to go for night classes to take his High School Certificate (HSC). This HSC would then be the key to embarked on his new path of life – being an Income Tax Officer of Malaysia, in the Seremban branch.
It was not long after that he met and married our mum, Yen, and then came along four children – Nicholas, myself (Nigel), Vanessa then Rachel.
Our life in the early stages were tough – we didn't have much money, but where we lacked money, we had a close family. We would scrimp and save and do the best whenever we can.
My papa is an upright man, and he doesn't take extra pocket money to whomever he serves in Income Tax. Sometimes, I had wished he had done so, but now, looking back, I'm so glad he didn't. He carried an upright and honest and integrity-filled living.
I'm proud of that.
Papa would then go on to keep working to keep the family going – he had worked 37 years for the Income Tax of Malaysia, and was schedule to retire at the end of 2014…which is the same year he was called to the Lord.
Papa is an amazing man, wonderful father and loving husband. Yes, we all had our communications challenges, but truly, papa is the best – he is the best. No one else will ever come close.
Papa, you're my hero.
Talk soon, when we meet in heaven ya. =)
My papa, as I recall, has the following hobbies and leisure
The presence of God and His word
Papa really loves God – he spends hours poring through the bible and seeking the Lord. He spends much time praying too, seeking God to understand and feel His presence. I remember that he used to buy bible after bible after bible, saying that different bible has different interpretations, and he wants to see the "full scope" of what is written of God and Jesus. Sundays mornings and noons are dedicated church and God timing – he would wake up early in the morning and get everyone up to go to church together. Often, the girls will be late, and this always irks him and he'll be grumpy and drive fast…to which we will then tease him by saying:
"Cannot ah…we going to church now…"
And he'll just keep quiet.
Haha, that just brings a smile to my face.
Movies and TV dramas
According to my siblings, in the last few years he has been ardently watching korean dramas (yes, those sappy, sappy ones) with his new large screen TV. And he's gotten so used to watching these shows that he's been asking me again and again to buy a TV so that I can watch TV to relax too - hahaha, this man is so cute.
Rearing his favorite fishes of koi and recently tetra fishes
Papa loves his koi fishes – he even built a fish thank to house them, built his own water filter that is custom made to ensure the water pH and quality is of a certain high standard. All these allowed the fishes to thrive and grow almost to 50, 60 cm length, with very vibrant colors! And we were never able to appreciate his and love for this, only he could appreciate it. He decided to let his koi fishes go as he found it too taxing physically and financially as he grew older, and he slowly moved towards rearing tetra fishes – which are also very tough to rear.
Papa used to rear large killer dogs, such as bull terriers and rottweilers – and he was very good at it. I'm not sure if he used to sell or give them away, but I know each time the dogs had puppies, we named each of them and then gave them away with tears in our eyes… When we moved to Johor Bahru from Seremban, we couldn't rear dogs anymore because (1) we had little money and (2) there were no space. We didn't start rearing dogs until much later, where we started to pick up strays (one a time), of which, it was him who was the one in the end who took care of them (thanks papa).
Bonsai Growing fruit plants and trees
Only in the recent years of 2010 – 2014, papa started to be more passionate on growing his own fruit plants and trees. He would look for good fruit seeds that is suitable for planting, or saplings, and embarked on a few mini-projects in the garden…that drove mum mad. He made his own grape plant ladder, and grew grape plants – but until today, it hasn't had any fruits as of yet. I had wished to take papa to New Zealand and give him a farm land there where he could either make it into an orchard for any sort of fruit plants that he wanted, or even have his own animals. I'm pretty sure that he'd love it there =)
He loved his electricals and electronics. Apparently, according to a Mr Gan, owner of a multi-chain electricals and electronics store in Malaysia, papa would visit his stores at least twice a month in search of interesting and nice stuff that he could buy. Papa would buy stuff such as a new big HD TV, which you could plug a thumb drive and play dramas straight into it; he bought an electrical bicycle so that when he retires, he can save money by cycling to buy his groceries instead of driving around. He bought and installed several air conditioning units in the house, as the house was too hot; bought and installed fans that could be switched on and off with remote controls (to my mum's horror), but I like the idea of remote controlled fans.
Handyman & Household Maintenance
Papa is very, very good with his hands – he would single handedly fix almost everything in the house that isn't working well – from the lamps and lights, to the fans, to the pipes and plumbing. Even the car. Everything would be maintained tip top by himself, with as minimal costs as he could. He's really good. He was the one who also helped me install the dual headed tap in my own house in Singapore, so that we can have a water filter (papa was also quite big on water filtration). From what I understand, as he grew up in a house without a father, and without money, he had to learn everything from scratch to help his mother, our amah.
Papa loves music, and he often turns to music, which seems to soothe his soul. He would spend hours listening to his favorite music, and oftentimes he would spend listening music with his friends and family.
He used to build his own hifi and music sets and combined them on his own, to create his own music entertainment system. In fact, he's built his own speakers from scratch by hand before too, and even sold them off before – twice! Music that he enjoys tends to be more chill in the older days – think Frank Sinatra and other bossa nova titles; but in the recent years and decades he's listening to more God and Christian praise and worship.
Below are two of his favorite albums.
As papa was a quiet man, and doesn't share much about himself (it was always about helping someone else, taking care of work, his family, the dog, the garden), and we almost never hear or meet his and friends, so, naturally we were very pleasantly surprised by the huge number of turn-up and positive eulogies and stories about our papa.
Do you know Daniel Chua Oon Hian personally?
Or you have heard about him before?
Or that he has personally made a positive impact in your life?
Please share and tell us more - we want to know all and more about him, to preserve our memory of this wonderful man we call papa.
Below are all the stories and testimonials shared in the comment. Do share your story in the comment section too!