The last journey of Aloysius: Let him be the one and only lead

The passing away of actor Aloysius Pang during an overseas military exercise shocked and saddened the whole of Singapore.

Aloysius was due for his first break as the male lead in a new Channel 8 drama when he returned from the military exercise in New Zealand. Identified as one of the “8 Dukes” of Caldecott Hill, Aloysius was tipped for greater things in his showbiz career. Unfortunately, his life came to an abrupt end on 23 Jan.

While many of his loved ones, colleagues, friends and fans are trying to accept his death, the intense media coverage have also thrown up some characters who are trying, in one way or another, in the midst of this tragedy …

  • TRYING TO SHOW THAT THEY ARE TAKING RESPONSIBILITY

MINDEF called for a press conference on 24 Jan, chaired by Chief of Defence Force and attended by Chief of Army, among other top SAF officers. Findings of preliminary investigations was shared. But the real reason is still pending the Committee of Inquiry (COI).

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This is the 4th training fatality in the past 18 months. Many questions are asked but few are answered adequately. What is the army and broadly, the SAF doing to ensure the safety of our brothers, sons, husbands, fathers when they are risking their lives for Singapore? What is the point of one COI after another, when what we hear after every COI is another death at training? Does MINDEF treat every COI as isolated incident instead of a reminder that a thorough review of its training safety regulations across the whole SAF is needed?

Aloysius’ death happened even before Liu Kai’s COI findings are out. The MINDEF press conference not only failed to appease public anger, but also reminded us of the other Singapore sons who died at training.

  • TRYING TO SCORE POINTS

Aloysius was well-loved by his colleagues and friends. Since the death announcement, there has been an outpouring of emotions and tears from fellow artistes all over social and traditional media, and the nature of that makes it a paper-selling / views- or likes-attracting news story.

The number of politicians who have expressed their condolences also seems unprecedented. Here’s an inexhaustive list of local politicians who have posted FB messages on Aloysius:

1)      Ng Eng Hen

2)      Maliki Osman

3)      Heng Swee Keat

4)      Heng Chee How

5)      Sun Xueling

6)      Grace Fu

7)      Pritam Singh

8)      Daniel Goh

9)      Leon Perera

10)   Chee Soon Juan

Then you have people opportunistic enough to make use of the incident to talk about his political party’s “manifesto”:

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  • TRYING TO GET THE ACT TOGETHER

Since the passing away of Aloysius, it’s hard to talk about him without mentioning his girlfriend – fellow artiste Jayley Woo.

Not much has been discussed about her “underground relationship” with Aloysius before this. On the night of Aloysius’ passing, she revealed their relationship on Instagram, uploaded pics of them together (including the hand in hand one that broke many’s hearts) and a Chinese prose mourning the loss.

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Soon after, she created an Instastory detailing the different stages of their relationship, complete with photos, captions and Chinese proses of how much she missed Aloysius. It was almost like a liberation for someone who was not able to PDA about the relationship in the past. The volume of sharing, via an Instagram account with over 300k followers, was her chosen way to grieve. Some reporters, however, took it as an indication that she may be willing to share with the media too.

But we all know about the saga she had with that persistent reporter by now. Jayley has every right to reject a media interview but the leaking of the text messages exchange was an unnecessary distraction from Aloysius.

Aloysius has missed the opportunity to be the male lead in the Channel 8 drama. In this last journey of his life, he should be accorded the focus and attention that he deserves. Other side stories can wait.

Rest in peace, Aloysius.