updated 29 Nov 2012, 14:23
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Sat, Nov 24, 2012
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They had row days before wedding

The wedding guest list included the who's who of Malaysian society.

Some 2,500 politicians, dignitaries and athletes attended the two-night wedding of world No. 1 badminton player and Olympic silver medallist Lee Chong Wei and his girlfriend Wong Mew Choo in Kuala Lumpur (KL) last weekend.

But an important family member was missing from the bash - the player's father, Mr Steven Lee Ah Chai.

The reason?

"It was a misunderstanding over a coat," said the older Lee, who lives in Bukit Mertajam, Penang.

The 59-year-old wept as he recalled why he was left out of his son's wedding, reported the online portal of the Star newspaper, Daily Chilli.

The younger Lee had apparently also argued with his father over the phone on the matter just days before the wedding.

"If he had asked me to go, I would have flown there immediately," said Mr Lee.

"Most of the relatives here have gone to the wedding, so I had to stay back to take care of my (90-year-old) mother," Mr Lee said.

The 30-year-old Chong Wei's grandmother lives in an old folks' home.

Watched on TV

Mr Lee ended up watching his son's wedding like he did his shot at Olympic gold at the London Games in August - through a live TV broadcast.

He sent Chong Wei a text message to wish him a happier family than what he grew up with.

Mr Lee said he had been practising a Mandarin love song for a month to serenade the couple.

After finding out that he had been locked out of the wedding, Mr Lee posted a long message on Facebook, saying: "Every child is a parent's treasure. Every couple wishes their children grow up healthy and happy.

"It will be better if they are filial, but children nowadays only take care of themselves.

"I hope Chong Wei will have a small wedding reception in Butterworth for the relatives and friends who could not attend his reception in KL."

But residents in Bukit Mertajam have another story to tell.

They said the real reason for Mr Lee's enforced no-show was his gambling addiction.

He had apparently racked up debts of up to seven figures and Chong Wei had to pay off the losses.

Even after settling that bill, Mr Lee continued to squander his son's fortune.

In June, Mr Lee had stopped his car in the middle of Penang Bridge, got out and stepped on to the edge.

But Mr Lee denied that he was thinking of jumping, and that he was just enjoying the sea breeze because he couldn't sleep.

An unnamed resident told Daily Chilli: "Chong Wei and his siblings did not want to hurt the mother, so they decided not to invite Ah Chai".

Neither Chong Wei nor his family have commented on the matter.

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