Dad wants answers from school
Published on: Saturday, February 16, 2019

Kota Kinabalu: Kinabalu International School (KIS) will carry out an investigation to better understand the cause of death of a 14-year-old boy who was drowned at Likas Sports Complex, here, Tuesday.

Principal Ian Gross said a full investigation will be conducted with those who were present at that time without obstructing ongoing investigation by the local authorities and police.

He expressed his condolences to the victim’s family and hopes anyone who knew the victim will be strong.

“As a school and community, we are devastated at the recent loss of our student. At this time, our thoughts and prayers are with the victim’s parents, family and friends.

“Although he had only been a KIS student for a relatively short period of time, he had built many close friendships among his peers. He was highly respected and well-liked by his teachers and the wider community,” he added.

On Tuesday, the student was undergoing swimming lesson with a teacher, swimming coach and a group of other students when he drowned at Likas Sport Complex.

The victim was rushed to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital II at noon where a doctor, after giving him breathing treatment, confirmed he passed away 38 minutes later.

Earlier, the father said many questions remain unanswered regarding what happened to his boy. 

“I am not blaming anyone. I just want to know what happened on that day,” said Chong Kam Fei, 49. 

“I’ve heard so much from his classmates, I believe he could have been saved,” he said tearfully as he and his wife Vivien Lee and their nine–year-old daughter prepared to bury their son.

Chong told the Star his son had taken swimming lessons when he was nine but had not swam since then.

He believed his son could not swim. Moreover, the incident happened during just his second lesson with the school which previously used the shallower pool of a resort and not the professional one in Likas.

“I didn’t even know they were using the pool in Likas. Did they know if the children were capable of swimming in a pool used for professional swimmers?” he asked.

The businessman also wanted to know about the supervision of the teachers, as well as whether there were lifeguards or swimming instructors around.

He said from what he gathered from his son’s classmates, the students shouted for help when they saw Nicholas struggling. The swimming instructor was at another pool and not where the children were.

“The teacher might have thought they were playing around. That isn’t right,” he said, adding that he was waiting for answers from the school.

“I want answers. I cannot let it happen again. I don’t want this to happen to anyone else’s son or daughter,” Chong said.

Family members, school teachers and parents of his classmates attended the funeral, which was also saw the attendance of state Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Frankie Poon.

The case is still being investigated by police, who are waiting for a toxicology report.


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