Reunited via Stomp report, long-lost friends finally meet after 53 years in surprise visit

Submitted by Stomper Jessica

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It was a touching reunion 53 years in the making.

Two long-lost friends who reconnected after a Stomp report last year finally got to meet in person on Saturday (Feb 4), after one flew from Malaysia to surprise the other in Singapore.

Here's a quick refresher:

  • 1969: Mr Chen Ninghan (aka Ah Chin), 19, meets Mr Ang Jit Sing (aka Mr Hong Risheng) while working at a Nippon Paint factory in Queenstown

  • 1970: The two men continue to maintain a close friendship despite no longer being colleagues

  • 1977: Both men lose contact with each other because #life

  • 2022: Mr Chen, now a retiree, has never forgotten his friend or their good times together and hopes to reconnect with him

  • Mid-July 2022: Mr Chen's daughter, Jessica, approaches Stomp for help. An appeal is published.

  • 16 - 19 July 2022: Jessica's appeal is circulated among Nippon Paint employees in a group chat. They were able to identify Mr Ang and shared his contact details with Stomp.

  • 19 July 2022: Both men speak to each other for the first time in 52 years via video call. Mr Chen said it was "the happiest day ever" while Mr Ang told Stomp, "The joy in my heart is indescribable!"

  • 4 February 2023: Mr Chen, 73, flies from Kuching to give Mr Ang, 76, a surprise at his home in Clementi

Mr Chen looking for Mr Ang (middle photo)

It was a heartwarming and unforgettable day when the two long-lost pals finally got to meet again, and one that took some thoughtful planning.

Jessica said: "My parents took a flight from Kuching and arrived in Singapore on Saturday morning. They are here for a week to have a 'chap goh mei' gathering and also to give Mr Ang a surprise visit."

'Chap goh mei' refers to the 15th night of the lunar new year. Also known as Yuan Xiao Jie, it marks the end of Chinese New Year celebrations.

Jessica told Stomp: "Prior to this visit, my dad had already gotten hold of Mr Ang's address through his daughter. He was so excited for the surprise visit since it was still Chinese New Year.

"My dad had told Mr Ang that he might come visit in March. Only Mr Ang's wife knew my dad would be in Singapore to give him a surprise visit.

"We travelled from Tampines and reached there around evening time."

Jessica was also accompanied by her daughter, her youngest brother and her sister-in-law. They are all working in Singapore.

Mr Chen, in a blue shirt, preparing to surprise Mr Ang

Jessica recounted: "It was so funny. My daughter went to knock on Mr Ang's door while posing as Grab delivery. Mrs Ang came to the door and they thought it was some people doing sales.

"Finally, my dad appeared from behind and gave Mr Ang a surprise. He was so surprised and exclaimed, 'Ah Chin! You really came to Singapore!'"

The two families had a wonderful time catching up and reminiscing about the good old days.

Jessica taking a wefie

Jessica said: "Mr and Mrs Ang were really kind. They got dinner and some Indian rojak for my parents to try since the rest of us already had dinner before we went over.

"My dad and Mr Ang were both chatting away just like the old times. They talked about how Mr Ang would rent a car during weekends, then they and a few friends would go enjoy themselves. They shared that back then, car rental was only $2 per hour.

"They would also go to Punggol for seafood, watch movies, visit Chinatown and Thomson Reservoir amongst many other activities.

"They talked about how Mr and Mrs Ang met too. One of Mr Ang's friends had made excuses to ask him to travel with them to Kuala Kumpur over a weekend. Back then, it took eight hours to reach KL.

"Mrs Ang and my mum joined in the chat as well, talking about their children and grandchildren."

The whole scene was particularly moving for Jessica.

She added: "It was so funny and we all really had a great time together. Everyone was happy and it left me feeling really touched and grateful.

"Without Stomp, this moment would not have happened. Thanks again for your help and God bless you!"

View more photos in the gallery.