Father and son close before disease set in
About three years ago, a neighbour saw him doing a vertical run up and down the point block where he lived.
Mr Soong Ah Chai, then 63, even ran up to the 22nd storey, the highest storey, where the neighbour is living.
Said Mrs Tricia Tham, 62, a teacher who works with special needs children: "He was with a backpack and he was panting away and all sweaty. He knocked on my door and when I opened the door, he said, 'You ah, is this the seventh floor?'"
Shocked, Mrs Tham said no and proceeded to redirect him down via the lift.
She said: "At the point in time, it didn't occur to me that he had health problems and he's losing direction."
From then on, Mr Soong, who suffered from Parkinson disease, deteriorated rapidly.
It came to a point where he needed a maid to follow him around.
When she met him again about two years ago, she also realised that his motor skills were compromised.
Said Mrs Tham: "When I asked his wife, she said he's not as fit anymore.
"About a year before the incident, I heard that he was in and out of the nursing home. I heard it from his wife. All of them were working, and there's no one looking after him."
Another neighbour, Mr Mazlan Onn, 52, a customer support officer, said that he had seen Mr Soong walking in a daze more than a year before the incident.
He had also heard from other neighbours that Mr Soong often shouted at his second son, Mr Soong Sheng Loong, 30, while his wife would defuse the situation.
WASN'T LIKE THIS
But it was not like this before the onset of the disease.
Mrs Tham said she had seen father and son heading out for a jog together on Sundays about 10 years back.
Recalling when Mr Soong's sons were still very young, she said: "They were very close. Mr Soong was always with his two boys, running around at the playground."
Another neighbour, Mr Reuben Tham, 32, who works in the banking industry, said he used to bump into the younger Mr Soong about twice a week.
He said: "I've seen him before, going for a run on his own.
"Since about two years ago, his father does not jog with him anymore."
- CHAI HUNG YIN