Punggol murder

Family of victim shocked by stabbing, appeals for witnesses

Police officers (above) combing the vegetated area near the scene of Sunday's attack on Mr Tay Rui Hao (left) in Punggol Field on Monday. Mr Tay's father reportedly said his son had texted him earlier in the day to tell him he was heading out for a r
Police officers (above) combing the vegetated area near the scene of Sunday's attack on Mr Tay Rui Hao in Punggol Field on Monday. Mr Tay's father reportedly said his son had texted him earlier in the day to tell him he was heading out for a run.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

He was easygoing and talkative, says dad, calling what happened unjustified

The family of the man who was fatally stabbed on Sunday night in Punggol Field arrived too late to catch his last words in hospital.

The man has been identified as Mr Tay Rui Hao, 38. He is believed to be married and lived a few streets from where he was found stabbed.

His father told Chinese dailies Lianhe Wanbao and Shin Min Daily News yesterday that the family is shocked by what happened.

The father was quoted as saying that his son had texted him earlier in the day to tell him he was heading out for a run as he was feeling cooped up at home due to the circuit breaker measures. That was the last he heard from his son, Mr Tay's father reportedly said.

He said Mr Tay left home at about 10pm and was brutally attacked just two streets away from his flat.

Mr Tay is understood to have lived with his wife and their dog. Neighbours said Mr Tay and his wife were a loving couple, and often walked their dog together at the void deck.

His Facebook page is filled with posts about his wife and their dog. Mr Tay had posted pictures of his wife's birthday celebration in their home late last month.

Mr Tay's father said he, his wife and daughter rushed to Sengkang General Hospital at about 1am on Monday but they were too late.

He described his son as easygoing and talkative, and said what happened was "very unjustified".

A former colleague described Mr Tay as a funny and lovable person who readily gave advice and supported his subordinates.

Ms Nur Aziyati Johari, 28, said Mr Tay, who was an area manager at a retail store, got along well with his younger subordinates and advised them a lot on work.

Police officers (above) combing the vegetated area near the scene of Sunday's attack on Mr Tay Rui Hao (left) in Punggol Field on Monday. Mr Tay's father reportedly said his son had texted him earlier in the day to tell him he was heading out for a r
Mr Tay Rui Hao PHOTO: TAY RUI HAO/FACEBOOK

He was supportive of her decision to resign and move overseas for a new position, she added.

"He was like our father and best friend," said Ms Nur Aziyati, who now works in human resources.

Mr Tay also switched jobs and is believed to have been working for a local branch of a sportswear company before his death.

His father appealed for eyewitnesses to contact the police "so that my son can rest in peace", he was reported as saying in the Chinese dailies.

 
 
 
 

Mr Tay was found by a resident at about 11pm on Sunday.

The resident had heard cries for help and, upon going downstairs, found Mr Tay with stab wounds along Punggol Field, near the Matilda Sundeck Housing Board development that is under construction. He was wearing a football jersey and jogging shoes.

The resident told The Straits Times that he saw Mr Tay struggling to get to the back of a bus stop, where he collapsed on a grass patch. The police were called and he was taken to hospital where he died.

The case has been classified as murder. Police officers, including those from the Gurkha contingent, were seen combing the vegetated area all through Monday, and the bus stop was cordoned off.

Mr Tay's body was cremated yesterday afternoon at Mandai crematorium. Members of the media, including The Straits Times, tried to observe the funeral, but were not allowed to enter.

Anyone with information can call the police hotline on 1800-255-0000 or submit information online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 13, 2020, with the headline 'Family of victim shocked by stabbing, appeals for witnesses'. Print Edition | Subscribe