updated 29 Aug 2011, 08:12
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Wed, Jul 27, 2011
The New Paper
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Endless love on the move
by Tong Su Yee

THEY met on a bus in 1973 while travelling home from Singapore to Malaysia.

She had asked to borrow his newspaper and they ended up chatting all the way.

Fast forward to today.

After 37 years of marriage, Madam Lim Cheng Mui, 59, and Mr Tang Pan Koh, 67, yesterday renewed their marriage vows at "Love is 24/7", an event organised by People's Association (PA).

Forty couples renewed their wedding vows on board four SBS Transit buses while being taken to various iconic places in Singapore, such as the Registry of Marriage and Orchard Road.

Madam Lim and Mr Tang were among the oldest couples at the event.

Mr Tang reminisced in Mandarin: "She was so sexy when we first met. She wore clothes that even my daughter wouldn't wear now."

"It's in the way he speaks," said Madam Lim lovingly, referring to his charm.

"People say it was me who wooed him first."

They dated for slightly less than a year before getting married.

Madam Lim said: "But for that, he asked me first!" The couple have three children: Richard, 36; Susan, 31; and Sherry, 26.

Both Mr Tang's parents died within two weeks of his birth due to illnesses, and Mr Tang began working at a coffee shop in Malaysia when he was 11.

Amazing man

Madam Lim said: "That's what's so amazing. He loves his family so much even when he grew up without one.

"He's a good dad and a good husband."

Mr Tang is without a doubt a doting husband, sharing the household chores throughout their marriage.

He did most of the washing - dishes, clothes, floor - as Madam Lim has sensitive skin which gets irritated from over-exposure to soap.

In return, Madam Lim takes care of their finances.

The couple, who look after their five grandchildren aged between 10 months and 8 years over the weekends, give advice regarding marital issues to their children when necessary.

In her free time, Madam Lim loves karaoke, and her love for singing has rubbed off on Mr Tang.

When asked about the things they argue over, Mr Tang said: "She scolds me when I don't sing properly!"

Madam Lim works part-time at a neighbourhood cake shop and Mr Tang is working as a maintenance foreman at a hotel.

Mr Tang said: "I couldn't ask for more, I came to Singapore with no money in 1970.

"Now I have a good marriage, three children who have grown up well, and we have our own shelter over our heads."

He was referring to their four-room HDB flat in Ang Mo Kio, which they bought after becoming Singaporean citizens. It was Madam Lim's idea to be part of "Love is 24/7".

"When we got married, he told me he had no money, but he promised that when he did we would do this properly," said Madam Lim, who added that Mr Tang, who has a jovial nature, has made her a happier and friendlier person.

When they renewed their vows onboard the bus along Orchard Road, she smiled excitedly and said: "Renewing vows is important, it helps you remember all those years of sweet memories.

"Being on a bus really makes us feel young again, as if we are going on a date."

This article was first published in The New Paper.

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