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Attacker was aggressive rag-and-bone man

Just two days ago, Mr Abdul Majid Maarof had kicked a teddy bear that his attacker had been trying to sell at the void deck of the block, said Mr William Teo.

"They were both not on talking terms," said the resident-volunteer in the block which consists mostly of one-room rental flats.

Mr Teo added that the dead man was a rag-and-bone man who would collect discarded items and sell them at the void deck.

He said that residents did not know his name but would call him "Gemuk" (fat in Malay) because of his large size.

Gemuk used to share his rental flat with a co-tenant, but had lived alone for a number of years.

"Residents in the block sometimes bought from him, especially if they needed the item, such as a fridge or a cupboard. Recently, he displayed a fish tank," said Mr Teo, who is unemployed.

"People from the town council have asked him to clear his wares because the void deck was not a commercial area."

Mr Teo added that Mei Che, the injured woman, told him that Gemuk "thought she was the one who had reported him" to the authorities.

"About two weeks ago, he scolded her using vulgarities. Then, about two to three days ago, he said sorry to her in the lift but she didn't want to answer him."

Mr Teo said residents were put off by the abusive language and aggressive behaviour of the dead man, who had lived there for more than 10 years.

"It is irritating to see people behave like this. It was irritating when we saw him scold people, especially old people, using abusive language."

Mr Teo, who helps to distribute packets of cooked food to the residents in the one-room rental flats, said he was afraid of Gemuk.

He said: "He would collect three packets of rice every day. He had threatened me before, about two to three years ago, but I let it go."

Another resident, Madam Jainab Awang, 65, a cook, said Gemuk was "always drunk".

A resident, who declined to be identified, said he had heard about the dead man being involved in fights.

Mr Teo said Gemuk had punched someone and injured him about three months ago. And about a month ago, he fought with someone at a nearby block but no one was injured.