Tenant heard banging noises on morning of alleged murder
TENANT: Miss Ayu said that she has stayed at the lodging house for three months.
Many guests moved out of 6B after the murder.
But not Miss Ayu, 37.
The waitress, who has been living there since March, said the incident has not affected her.
Miss Ayu said that she had heard banging noises from one of the rooms on the morning of the alleged murder.
She said in Malay: "It was in the wee hours of the morning. I wasn't quite sure exactly where the noise was coming from, so I poked my head out the door.
"I didn't see anything out of the ordinary, so I went back to bed.
"I didn't even know about the case until my friends told me about it later. I was shocked at first, but I'm fine now."
She said that since the incident, nearly all the other tenants have moved out. There are only two others left.
But she said she is not afraid to stay on.
With a smile, she added in Malay: "I used to work in many lounges and bars where people used to fight. I've seen unconscious people covered in blood many times.
"I guess I'm used to such things."
Miss Ayu, who lives in Bukit Merah, pays $60 a night for a ground-storey room at 6B.
Declining to speak about her family and her home, she said she prefers to stay at the lodging because it is close to her workplace in Little India.
She is believed to be the only local staying at 6B, which is less than a five-minute walk from Mustafa Centre and is popular with South Asian tourists.
Each of the 15 rooms is about the size of half an HDB bedroom. Privacy is a premium as guests have to walk down narrow corridors to reach their rooms.
TNP spoke to a guest who was seen walking out of 6B yesterday.
Wanting to be known only as Mr Kasem, he said that he came from India. He added in halting English: "I don't know anything. I just moved here three days ago."
Rowell Road wears two faces.
By day, it is a thriving commerce centre with shoppers from the nearby Mustafa Centre lugging their shopping bags and visiting shops along Rowell Road. Eateries along the stretch are packed with South Asian tourists and foreigners tucking in.
But at night, commerce gives way to an old trade. Because it is located near the red-light district at Desker Road, sex workers strut down the road.
That never frightened away guests.
But a murder has.
- SHAFFIQ ALKHATIB