SINGAPORE - A 65-year-old Malaysian widower who was fleeing the scene after stabbing his eldest daughter repeatedly near a bus stop at Marsiling Lane returned to attack her a second time when he realised she was still alive.
Lorry driver Shoo Ah San stabbed 42-year-old Madam Shoo Suet Lian 17 times in total - in the chest, abdomen, back, shoulder and arm.
The Singapore permanent resident suffered collapsed lungs, which is a potentially fatal injury, but survived the attack, which took place last year.
On Tuesday (Nov 2), Shoo pleaded guilty in the High Court to a charge of attempted murder. A second charge of carrying an offensive weapon in public will be taken into consideration when he is sentenced on Friday.
The court heard that Shoo had a distant relationship with his three daughters and two sons, which was further strained over the disputed ownership of a house in Johor Baru.
Initially, he rented the house and lived in it with three of his children.
In 2000, the house was purchased under Madam Shoo's name as her father was an undischarged bankrupt at the time and elder son Chee Seng was below the age of 21.
Shoo claimed he paid for the house, although Chee Seng gave his father a sum of money for the purchase and had been servicing the mortgage, the court heard.
Shoo moved out in 2007 to work in Malacca but returned to the house from time to time.
In 2016, Chee Seng changed the locks as his father had caused disruptions such as removing the ancestral tablets from the house.
In early 2019, Shoo broke into the house and wrote on the walls and mirrors with red paint, proclaiming that Madam Shoo was unfilial.
He also wrote that he intended to kill his children.
In March that year, Shoo's children decided to refurbish the house and then sell it, to avoid any further trouble.
Shoo was upset when he saw the refurbished house, and assumed it had been sold.
He began thinking about killing Madam Shoo, whom he saw as the mastermind behind the sale. He also resented her for not giving him money for his living expenses.
On Jan 16 last year, Shoo decided to carry out his plan after his girlfriend kicked him out of her house, leaving him homeless.
At about 4am on Jan 17, he came to Singapore on his motorcycle, then rode around Marsiling Lane, where Madam Shoo lived, hoping to spot her on her way to work.
At about 5am, he saw her walking towards a bus stop, ran towards her, lifted his helmet visor and stabbed her repeatedly.
As he stabbed her, he uttered in Cantonese: "You all harm me very miserably (sic)."
Shoo had aimed his first stab at her neck but she managed to block his blow.
"The accused targeted Suet Lian's neck as he knew that it is a vital point and he wanted to kill her," said Deputy Public Prosecutor Hay Hung Chun.
As Shoo fled towards his bike, a passerby heard the victim's shouts and came to her help.
When Shoo saw his daughter sitting on the grass verge, he got off his bike, rushed towards her and asked her why she was still not dead.
Ignoring the passerby's cries, he stabbed Madam Shoo again, before riding off.
After the attack, Shoo went to Kaki Bukit, where Chee Seng worked as a mechanic.
He roamed around the area for five days to look for his son, and even visited Chee Seng's former colleague to ask about his whereabouts.
On Jan 22, Shoo was arrested at a coffeeshop near his son's workplace.
The police officers recovered the serrated knife he used to attack Madam Shoo, as well as notes alleging the lack of filial piety on the part of his children.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Zhou Yang called for 16 to 18 years' jail, arguing that the offence was premeditated and that Shoo's viciousness was clear from the number of stabs and their locations.
He contended that Shoo had "hunted down" Chee Seng for five days and that the attack on Madam Shoo was an absolute dereliction of his duties as a father.
Defence counsel Victor Lau objected to the term "hunted down".
He sought 10 years' jail, citing life expectancy to argue that a longer term amounted to life imprisonment for Shoo.
Mr Lau said his client was "a very lonely and disgraced father" who was estranged from his family.
None of his children has visited Shoo in prison, the court heard.