79-year-old at sister's wake slashed other sister who refused to give him allowance

SINGAPORE - A jobless man who survived on a monthly allowance from his younger sister became worried about his livelihood when she died.

Chan Tuck Sing, now 79, then asked another sister to carry on giving him the monthly allowance of $510, but she refused. He then decided to kill her.

At the Jurong West Street 41 void deck where the wake was held, he repeatedly slashed Madam Chan Sow Lin, 69, on her face and hands with a chopper.

She was hospitalised for nine days and given 15 days' hospitalisation leave for multiple complex facial lacerations and hand fractures.

On Monday (Feb 26), Chan pleaded guilty to a charge of attempted culpable homicide for the attack on April 8, 2016.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Wong Kok Weng sought a jail term of between six and seven years, but sentencing was adjourned after Justice Chua Lee Ming asked for a further psychiatric report.

The court heard that Chan, who had been unemployed for 15 years, used to get an allowance from his mother. After his mother died in 2006, his younger sister, Madam Chan Sow Boey, gave him $510 every month, from a sum of money their mother had left her.

Chan lived alone and was estranged from his other four siblings, including the victim, who had hardly seen him for the past 44 years, the court heard.

On April 6, 2016, Sow Boey was found dead at her home. Her death upset and worried Chan, as this meant that his source of income had been cut off.

On the first day of her wake, he went up to Sow Lin, told her that Sow Boey had been giving him $510 every month, and asked if she would do the same. Sow Lin said no.

Chan spent the night thinking about the rejection and decided to kill Sow Lin.

The next morning, he went to Sow Boey's flat to get a chopper, wrapped it in a T-shirt and put the bundle in his bag.

He walked to the nearby void deck, where the wake was being held, and saw Sow Lin at a table with her son and a 75-year old woman who was there to pay her respects.

Chan gave Sow Lin's son, 34, some money to buy him coffee in a bid to get him away from the wake.

Chan then walked up to Sow Lin and started slashing her, as she raised her hands to protect herself. The guest fled and called the police.

Chan repeatedly slashed Sow Lin until she fell. She grabbed a plastic chair to fend him off but he hacked at it and pulled it away from her. He continued slashing her as she tried to move away.

It was only when a passer-by shouted that he dropped the chopper and fled.

Chan washed the blood off his face and hands at a petrol kiosk and took three buses to Clementi police station, where he told three officers what he had done. The confession was captured on their body cams. He has been remanded in custody since then.

Chan was later assessed by psychiatrists to be suffering from an adjustment disorder which impaired his judgment and impulse control.