SINGAPORE: The founder of Hainanese restaurant chain Wee Nam Kee Chicken Rice Wee Toon Ouut has died, the restaurant announced on its Facebook page on Sunday (Oct 13).
"We are deeply saddened with the passing on of our Founder, Mr Wee Toon Ouut, aged 81," said Wee Nam Kee on its Facebook page.
Known for its Hainanese chicken rice, Wee Nam Kee has four outlets in Singapore, as well as overseas branches in Indonesia, Philippines, Korea and Japan. It was started in 1989.
"More commonly known as Senior Wee, his warm smile and sincere personality will be missed by all," said the Facebook post.
"Rest In Peace, Towkay! - From all of us in the WNK family!"
Condolences poured in online from long-time Wee Nam Kee regulars who remember him as a friendly and generous figure.
"Wee Nam Kee is me and my husband's favourite chicken rice shop in Singapore for more than 20 years, thanks for giving us lots of sweet memory," said Facebook user Jane JaydenJayven.
"Uncle Wee always say 'hello' to me ... with his loving smile when he walked past my work place."
Another patron Francis Poulose said, he grew up eating Wee Nam Kee's chicken rice and has started bring his children to eat at the restaurant.
"He will bring extra bowls of rice for them and tell them to grow up strong and study hard! RIP Mr Wee. Thank you for so many memorable meals."
All Wee Nam Kee outlets in Singapore will be closed on Saturday "as a mark of respect" for Wee and "to send him off on his final journey", said Wee Nam Kee.
"We seek your kind understanding and apologies for any inconvenience caused."