Man locks himself in Serangoon North flat, threatens to jump

Stand-off at Serangoon North lasts five hours

INJURED: The man was carried out by the Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team.
INJURED: He had bruises on his face, neck and shoulder.

She was at work when she received a call from the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) telling her to return home to open her grille door.

The SCDF wanted to use her Serangoon North flat to carry out rescue operations.

That was how the resident found out that her neighbour, who lives a storey below, had threatened to jump.

"I was told that he had a knife with him as well," said the woman, who declined to give any details about herself.

The stand-off yesterday, which lasted about five hours, attracted a steady stream of curious residents to Serangoon North Avenue 4.

It ended after police and emergency services acted to defuse the tension and took the man to safety.

It was classified as a case of attempted suicide, a police spokesman said.

It all started with the 42-year-old threatening to jump out of his ninth-storey flat at Block 540, residents told The New Paper.

It is believed he was holding a knife.

Then he locked himself in a room in his four-room flat and refused to come out.

The police were alerted to the incident at about 1.55pm yesterday.

PRECAUTIONS

By 3pm, a crowd had gathered, their eyes fixed on the SCDF team as they set up rescue nets at the rear window of the unit.

At the foot of the block was a safety life air pack.

The police cordoned off access to the ninth storey. Officers could be seen shuffling in and out of the flat.

Police also activated the Special Operations Command (SOC) team, armed with shields.

The man was carried out of the flat by the Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (Dart) at about 7.30pm.

There were bruises on his face, neck and shoulder.

An SCDF spokesman said the man was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital conscious.

When the TNP team went to the ninth storey after the stand-off, seven knives and five pairs of scissors could be seen outside the unit.

They are believed to have been retrieved from the man's flat.

Residents TNP spoke to said they were unaware of the incident until the authorities turned up.

A technical adviser who wanted to be known only as BJ said: "We could hear a bit of cracking noises, as though something was falling. It sounded like glass, but we aren't sure."

Mr BJ, 32, lives next to the unit.

Some, like a student, pointed to an argument that took place on Tuesday evening.

The 21-year-old, who lives on the 10th storey, said she heard a girl screaming: "Mama, don't hit didi (Chinese for younger brother)!"

This was confirmed by another resident who gave her name as Ms Tan.

The self-employed 46-year-old said she saw the argument from her 12th-storey flat opposite Block 540.

She said the argument created a ruckus and police had to be called in.

The man is believed to be the father of a boy and a girl who are of schoolgoing age.

Mrs Rose Ng, who lives on the seventh storey, said she greets the family occasionally.

When asked if she noticed any problems in the family, the 59-year-old said: "They seem like a normal family. They are usually quite polite. How could (the incident) have happened?"

The police spokesman confirmed that the man has been arrested in relation to the case.

They seem like a normal family. They are usually quite polite. How could (the incident) have happened?

- Mrs Rose Ng, 
a neighbour

President Tony Tan visits CID

HANDS-ON: President Tony Tan Keng Yam using a forensic light source to search for evidence in a staged crime scene.
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Tags: Singapore, police and crime

'Military aid in globalised world needed'

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He drove off while she was alighting

WHERE IT HAPPENED: The accident happened at Woodlands Centre Road on April 3 last year.
WHERE IT HAPPENED: 
Lau Pik Choong was jailed for a week and disqualified from driving for 18 months.
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Woman, 90, 'helpless' after losing part of foot in accident

Elderly widow, whose foot was amputated after bus accident, misses going out on her own

LIFE CHANGED: She now uses a walker to get around in her flat in Tampines.
LIFE CHANGED: Madam Ting Lang Kin before the accident.

She used to be able to travel from her daughter's flat in Woodlands Circle to her friend's home in Toa Payoh to play cards.

Now, she cannot even walk a few steps to the toilet without feeling pain.

"I feel very helpless since I can no longer go anywhere by myself," Madam Ting Lang Kin, 90, told The New Paper yesterday.

On April 3 last year, part of her left foot had to be amputated after it was crushed by the rear left tyre of the bus she had fallen from.

The accident happened when the bus driver drove off before she could alight.

Madam Ting, a widow, had boarded SMRT bus service 913 for her daily trip to the market in Woodlands Centre Road that day.

The market was about 4km from her home.

At about 1pm, she pressed the buzzer so she could alight. But she took a while to reach the rear exit of the bus because of her age. The driver, Lau Pik Choong, 53, drove off without checking whether she had alighted safely, causing her to fall.

LIFE CHANGED: The front half of Madam Ting’s left foot was amputated in a five-hour operation. PHOTOS: DALENE LOW, COURTESY OF CATHERINE YEO

5-HOUR OPERATION

Madam Ting was taken to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, where the front half of her left foot was amputated in a five-hour operation.

She was later transferred to Singapore General Hospital, where she was warded till May 21.

Yesterday, Lau was jailed for a week and disqualified from driving for 18 months for causing grievous hurt by performing a negligent act. (See report on facing page.)

Having led an active life despite her advanced age, Madam Ting has struggled to come to terms with the loss of her mobility and independence.

This change in her lifestyle had such a huge impact on her that she used to cry whenever she looked at her amputated foot.

She said : "I have learnt to accept it, but the pain I experience when I walk reminds me of my loss."

Even now, she feels traumatised by the incident.

When TNP visited her at her new home in Tampines yesterday, she kept asking her daughter, Madam Catherine Yeo, 53, if we were doctors who had gone there to take her back to the hospital for another operation.

Madam Ting, who has five children, had moved into Madam Yeo's four-room flat in Tampines Street 71 after she was discharged from hospital because it was more spacious and could accommodate a domestic helper to look after her.

She dearly misses her former way of life where she would take public transport on her own to go to the market or visit her friend in Toa Payoh almost daily to play cards from 10am to 5pm.

Madam Yeo, a cashier, said her mother had even gone to Japan on a holiday with her and some friends about a year before the accident.

Nowadays, the elderly woman needs help to move around the flat and cannot bathe or use the washroom by herself.

Although she uses a walker to get around at home, every step she takes causes pain in her left sole.

When she goes out, she has to use a wheelchair. As she needs help to get around, she seldom goes out and spends most of her time watching TV.

For someone who "hates being cooped up at home", the change in lifestyle was a difficult reality for her mother to accept, said Madam Yeo.

DAILY EXERCISE

Every day, Madam Ting looks forward to the time of the day when her helper, Ms Nancy Lalhmangaihzuali, 24, who is from India, takes her out for a 30-minute exercise session.

"I think she likes going out because staying at home for the whole day can be very boring," said Madam Yeo.

"She also enjoys it when her friends visit her occasionally to play cards and keep her company."

When told that the bus driver had been jailed for the accident, Madam Ting remained expressionless.

Madam Yeo said her mother "was resigned to her fate".

Madam Ting then said with a sigh: "The family has forgiven him, so forget about it.

"There's no point getting angry or upset. I'm already in this state."

I feel very helpless since I can no longer go anywhere myself.

- Madam Ting Lang Kin

Ah Mu, fan girls and the 'attractive' candidate: A recap of nomination day

Singapore Democratic Party candidate Dr Chee Soon Juan (right) and Mdm Huang Chih-Mei at Keming Primary School on April 27, 2016.

It will be a straight fight between the People's Action Party (PAP) and Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) for the May 7 Bukit Batok by-election.

This was announced today at the Nomination Centre in Keming Primary School.

People's Action Party candidate Murali Pillai, 48, arrived to hand in his nomination papers to much fanfare. Supporters who were at the nomination centre welcomed him with cheers, applause and shouts of "Ah Mu", a nickname he acquired in the estate.

Former MP Lim Boon Heng also showed up to support Mr Murali and said that he has known the lawyer for a long time.

 

 

Dr Chee Soon Juan arrived at Keming Primary School with his wife, Madam Huang Chih Mei, at his side and a group of supporters at about 10.30am.

When approached, Madam Huang said that it was school as usual for their three children, who did not even know that today was Nomination Day.

 

 

Private-hire car driver Shirwin Eu, 32, arrived at the Nomination Centre alone. Mr Eu, who "did not deny" that he is there for the publicity, did not have a proposer, seconder and at least four assentors to support his nomination.

Former SDP member Kwan Yue Keng, 68, showed up with what he said was "a spare set of forms" and was there "to ensure that there is no walkover in case Dr Chee is disqualified".

The Elections Department said that both Mr Eu and Mr Kwan had left without filing any nomination papers.

Blogger Han Hui Hui was also spotted at the SDP supporters' area, and said that she will "support what's right for the people".

Movie Review: The Boss (M18)

Someone please tell Melissa McCarthy to stop working with her writer-director husband Ben Falcone.

Their earlier collaboration, Tammy (2014), was roadkill. The Boss is just as bad.

McCarthy is a comedic genius and when she has a great script to work with, the result is magical.

Here, the limp story just makes her look bad, cheap and ridiculous.

McCarthy is the boss, Michelle Darnell, a callous mogul who is incarcerated because of insider trading. When released, the bankrupt attempts to rebuild her empire.

Kristen Bell is her former secretary Claire, a doormat who sees the best in everyone. Both women try to do their best with the tissue-thin plot, but there is a limit to how much trash you can tolerate, especially when you know they deserve much better.

​Ratings: 1/5 

Movie Review: Buddy Cops (NC16)

If you're a fan of odd-couple buddy cop movies in the vein of Rush Hour and Lethal Weapon, you'll love this new Hong Kong action comedy.

Two cops - brash, rough-talking Fei (Bosco Wong) and slightly effeminate Johnny (Taiwanese comedian King Kong) - are perpetually at loggerheads and cannot stand the sight of each other.

Both come from single-parent families and in a twist of fate, Fei's dad and Johnny's mum end up marrying each other and the two "brothers" are forced to live in the same house. The duo also find themselves investigating a murder case together.

While Buddy Cops' script is lacklustre at best, it is saved by excellent chemistry between Wong and King Kong.

Ratings: 3/5

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