Popiah King’s son has fatal heart attack, leaves behind wife and toddler

February 04, 2019
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    Businessman Ben Goi, son of Popiah King Sam Goi, died in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday morning (Feb 3). He was 43.

    His body was brought back to Singapore on Sunday night, Channel 8 reported on Monday.

    The Straits Times understands that he will be cremated at Mandai Crematorium on Thursday morning.

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    Mr Ben Goi married Malaysian-born former TV actress Tracy Lee in 2017, which was widely covered in the media.

    Among other roles, he was chief operating officer of Tee Yih Jia, a food manufacturing business his father, Mr Sam Goi, expanded and is most famous for its popiah, or spring rolls, skin.

    Related: Popiah King’s late son wanted to celebrate son’s birthday on Feb 9

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    Several MPs paid their respects at the wake, which is being held at Mr Goi’s home in Bukit Timah, including ministers Heng Swee Keat, Vivian Balakrishnan, Masagos Zulkifli, Josephine Teo and Teo Ser Luck. Former minister of foreign affairs George Yeo was also present.

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    Mr Heng, who left the wake around 4pm, said he did not know the late Mr Goi personally but knew the elder Mr Goi.

    “It’s very sad for his family. He just got married and has a kid,” Mr Heng said. “It must be quite devastating for Sam and the family.”

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    Singapore artistes, including Terence Cao, Chew Chor Meng and Zhu Houren, were also seen at Mr Ben Goi’s wake. They declined to speak to reporters.

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    Ms Lee, 33, a former Mediacorp Star Search contestant, announced last May that she had given birth to their first child, a son.

    In an Instagram post announcing her son’s birth, the happy mum wrote in Chinese: “I love you, my precious, I will love you and your father just as much… I don’t ask for much, just that you grow up happily and healthily, and I will have no regrets.”

    Related: Jeff Wang buys Taiwan house for son, gets emotional over boy’s reaction

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    “I have to say he really has my husband’s genes,” Ms Lee shared in an interview with 8 Days. “When he was two weeks old, he already had a double chin. He’s so heavy that I injured my wrists carrying him and had to see a doctor.”

    She declines to share more details of her son, citing family concerns, and would only refer to him as Ben Junior.

    Related: Edison Chen: I’m trying to be a good father

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    Their wedding dinner at the Shangri-La Hotel in September 2017 made headlines, with guests including celebrities and VIPs such as former Singapore president Tony Tan Keng Yam and his wife, Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong and Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen.

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    Ms Lee acted in several Mediacorp productions but left showbiz after she chose not to renew her contract in 2015.

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    In an interview with 8 Days, she said that she met her husband through mutual friends in 2010, but the couple only started dating in 2016.

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    Mr Sam Goi, a father of four, was no. 14 on Forbes Singapore’s 50 Richest 2018 list with an estimated fortune of US$1.8 billion. He was born in China’s Fujian province and came to Singapore as a young boy but did not complete his secondary education.

    But he acquired Tee Yih Jia, then a small pastry factory, in 1977 and used his engineering background to design an automated system to transform the company’s operations.

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    The older Mr Goi, who is also executive chairman of listed property developer GSH Corp, was appointed to a number of government committees on entrepreneurship, and was also active in grassroots work.

    He recently stepped down as chairman of Ulu Pandan citizens’ consultative committee, and was appointed Singapore’s non-resident ambassador to Brazil last year.

    A version of this article first appeared in The Straits Times.

    (Photos: Instagram/tracyleemeiling)

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