Yesterday was the 5th day when Zi On went missing while saving the life of a complete stranger. The air and sea search for him will shift from saving his life to the recovery of his body as the search moves to the deeper water.
While the world bustle on an unsung Malaysian hero (largely ignored by our Malaysian press) has been taken from our midst.

THE family of a Malaysian-born man missing off Moreton Island yesterday spoke of their pride in their son's heroic final actions as hopes of finding him alive all but evaporated.
Zion Kerk, 25, was last seen assisting a young Korean woman in Honeymoon Bay on the northern tip of the island at 3.40pm on Wednesday.
Police described how he threw the woman on to rocks, possibly saving her life before he was swept away by a wave.
Brother Brian Kerk, who flew to Brisbane from Melbourne to be with his grieving parents, said it did not surprise him to hear Zion had put someone else's well-being before his own.
"He was always helping people. He has such a kind nature. It's just like him to do something like this," said Mr Kerk fighting back tears.
"He's not a big guy. He's like a stick and he was not a strong swimmer . . . It's such a shock," he said. "He will always be my older brother."
Mother Chong Cho Tan who flew from Malaysia last night with Zion's father Kerk Choon Keng, said her eldest son was a sergeant in the boys' brigade who kept a "low profile".
"He was a loving son, a good brother. We're a very close family," Mrs Kerk said.
She said Zion had studied commerce and accounting in Canberra before moving to Brisbane to undertake a master's degree in property valuation at the University of Queensland.
"We're hoping for the best but if God has taken him then we have to accept that," Mrs Kerk said.
Mr Kerk said the family had been briefed by the water police and understood the search would soon become a recovery operation for his body.

Top Picture
Zi On swimming in the pool fronting their residence. - photograph taken around 1987.

From the left
Kerk Choon Keng, Kerk Zi Lu, Kerk Zi On, Chong Cho Tan - photograph taken in 2000.


Bob K said...

Thanks for putting up the photo. I've tried searching through my photo albums and could not locate a photo of Zi-On, whom I've known as a young child, albeit not that well as it his father that I had interaction with.

oceanbiru said...

You are welcome to the photos. We are still very much saddened by the tragic turn of events. The Kerk family has always been gracious givers. Zi On translated that graciousness to the highest level.

rational thinker said...

sad to see the passing of another good Malaysian.

and our mass media are busy "politiking", guru.

bluemonkeybananas@gmail.com said...

Yes indeed it saddened all of us from canberra when we finally got news of the tragedy. He was and still is a great mate of mine. I am gathering all photos i took with and of him and the videos during our performances (during his canberra days) and passing a copy to his parents hopefully when they return to malaysia.

Brian said...

HI there,
Bob k, ocean biru can you please email me the photos at kerkzilu@hotmail.com.
Who are you guys btw? I want to start a tribute page for my brother, so anyone has any information/photos/ comments for my brother, please email me under "tribute to ZION"


Cousin said...

Hi, I am Zi On's cousin - Euling. Zi On's parents would like to compile a book of remembrance of Zi On. If you would like to contribute to that. Just e-mail me at euling@rogers.com with your condolences or moments of memory that you would like to share.
Thank you for the kind words of Zi On on your blog.

oceanbiru said...

I am sure bluemonkeybananas@gmail.com would be more than happy to assist you in this book compilation. I believe he and ZiOn were varsity mates in Canberra and he has some photos and videos that he would like to hand over to Zi On mother.
It would indeed be wonderful if all of Zi On’s friend can contribute to this project. Please contact either kerkzilu@hotmail.com or euling@rogers.com.

CY said...

Hello, this is Chiew Yean from Canberra. Zi On is such an amazing person, I will never ever forget him as a friend, a lovely person with great sense of humour, with great talent in acting and in dancing (sure all ANU mates remembered his Michael Jackson moves), and his friendly personality. He is a hero and will always be fondly remembered by everyone who have known him.

FY said...

Hi, i am fang yaeu from Canberra. ZION really is my best mate in ANU now and forever. we almost see each other every night at Ursala college especially exams time. Try to study but end up just talk for whole night. Always watch soccer matches together...
Remember year 2002 his parents invited me,Eric n Jonathon to his birthday party in one of Hotel in Singapore and the parents n ZI LU bring the lovely cake (all the way from his hometown).YEAH i got that cake pictures as well. i will email its to ZI LU.
Still remember we get ZION a SPURS jersey and that was tight fit design he love it. When we back ANU for new semester he actually brought some protein powder and said want to go gym.
Yesterday i am so shocked after i saw ZI LU photos now. Wah... so different from last year Canberra trips from Lion king to this super body. I am sure your brother will be very proud of you. take care yourself n your parents.

Hope can meet auntie while i back Malaysia (1 jan to 6 jan).

aaron tan said...

tottenham hotspurs should have a minute of silence for him before their next match!

Anonymous said...

"tottenham hotspurs should have a minute of silence for him before their next match!"

I second

Danny C said...

I'm Danny Choo from Malaysia, Zi On's class mate in primary school. Moments ago Adrian Tan called me up & told me about the news, i was shocked, i couldn't really believed my ear. i searched for "Kerk Zi On" on the internet & finally i got to know the truth which i don't really wished to be true. ZI LU, UNCLE & AUNTIE, PLEASE BE TOUGH, live or sacrifice has been God's decision upon Zi On, i pray for him, he is a kind-hearted, sincere & brave young guy. I'll be here often from now on for updates & see what could i do for Kerk family.