Parents seek answers after teen falls to death from sky garden

Ng Jun Hui, 16, fell to his death from the sky garden (left) at Block 79D in Toa Payoh Central in the early hours of Tuesday. A former classmate who was with him told the teen's father that his son had mistakenly hopped over a wall at the edge of the
Ng Jun Hui, 16, fell to his death from the sky garden (above) at Block 79D in Toa Payoh Central in the early hours of Tuesday. A former classmate who was with him told the teen's father that his son had mistakenly hopped over a wall at the edge of the garden.PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS

16-year-old plunges 12 storeys from Toa Payoh HDB block during game with former classmate

"Don't worry mummy, I will come back for dinner. Just keep the food for me." Those were 16-year-old Ng Jun Hui's last words to his parents, they told The Straits Times yesterday, the final day of the teen's wake.

Now, Mr Ritchie Ng and his wife are looking for answers.

How did their son fall 12 storeys to his death while playing hide-and-seek in the sky garden at Block 79D in Toa Payoh Central in the early hours of Tuesday?

A former classmate who was with the teen told Mr Ng that his son had mistakenly hopped over a wall at the edge of the garden.

The 53-year-old Grab driver said he has asked the police for closed-circuit television camera footage from near the site, which he also plans to visit tomorrow to see if the sky garden has enough "security measures" to prevent falls. "Hopefully, this can help to save lives... It is really very painful to go through the whole thing," Mr Ng said.

Police are investigating the incident, which happened around 12.30am. The garden, which links four blocks of flats, is surrounded by railings and walls. Most of them are around 1.6m high, although some of the walls are lower.

At around 10pm on Monday, Mr Ng had asked his wife, 47-year-old pre-school teacher Amy Wong, to call and check on their son as he had been out the whole day with friends. That was when he told her to keep food for him.

Ng Jun Hui, 16, fell to his death from the sky garden (left) at Block 79D in Toa Payoh Central in the early hours of Tuesday. A former classmate who was with him told the teen's father that his son had mistakenly hopped over a wall at the edge of the
Ng Jun Hui PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS

A few hours later, police turned up at the family's home.

"At about 1.30am, they kept knocking on the door and everybody was sleeping... I thought it was my son who had forgotten his keys," said Mr Ng. "My whole mind was blank, and when my wife heard the news, she started shouting and crying."

The couple have two other children, daughters aged 14 and 17.

Mr Ng found out that his son's former classmate had messaged the teen at around 10pm on Monday. She had asked him to spend time with her at the sky garden.

Jun Hui, who lived in Toa Payoh Lorong 8, had previously gone to the sky garden a few times.

Mr Ng said his son had previously told him about a game in which he and his friends would run and hide, or stay still, when someone's name was called. Mr Ng added that the girl who was with his son in the sky garden told him that they had been playing the game when he fell.

Describing his son as compassionate, Mr Ng said Jun Hui, who sat the O levels last year, would help his classmates at Guangyang Secondary School whenever they were in need. Jun Hui, who wanted to be a scientist, had planned to go to a junior college, even taking tuition for additional maths for a month after his O-level exams in preparation.

When he did not qualify for junior college, he decided on electronic engineering at the Institute of Technical Education instead.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 26, 2018, with the headline 'Parents seek answers after teen falls to death from sky garden'. Print Edition | Subscribe