Late February, fans of veteran Hong Kong actor Ng Man-tat were shocked to learn about his sudden passing:

The actor succumbed to liver cancer at the age of 70, and everyone -- fellow Hong Kong actors and fans alike -- were devestated.

But for Malaysians fans, you'll probably be consoled by news that the actor may call Malaysia his final resting place.

Coming 'home'

The Star Online, quoting an article by China Press, reported that the Ng's ashes inurned at a columbarium in Johor.

The Chinese daily's entertainment reporter, Zhu Pi, who is one of Tan's closest friends when he was alive, revealed that Ng's body will be cremated on Monday (8 March).

However, Zhu revealed that Ng's family will very likely not be placing his ashes in Hong Kong due to one reason: the prices for an urn niche is exorbitantly high.

Ng Man-tat and his family.
On top of that, Ng has been calling Malaysia his second home for the past 25 years after marrying his Malaysian wife Hou Shan Yan, who was a beauty queen.

Ng reportedly returned to Hong Kong when he became ill.

Ng's family -- Hou and his two sons, aged 25 and 18 -- are based in Johor, and bringing his ashes home will make it easier for them to pay their respects during the Qing Ming (Tomb Sweeping Festival), Zhu said.

However, Zhu said Hou will be making the final decision soon.

Crazy high prices for an urn space

Due to the limited space in a country that has a population of seven million, prices for a private urn niche can go up to HK$1.8 million (RM949,136) for a space no bigger than a shoe box, The Guardian reported.

An urn niche at a public columbarium costs around HK$2,800 (RM1,476) - but there is a four-year waiting period.

According to China Press, the family of late Hong Kong actress Yammie Lam reportedly paid HK$170,000 (RM89,211) for an urn niche back in 2018.

Even urn niches are expensive.
As comparison, In Malaysia, an urn niche at an old public columbarium will cost around RM300, and can go up to RM15,000 depending on the location, The Star Online reported.

No matter where his ashes end up, we hope that Ng Man-tat can now rest in peace.