Singapore

‘Parrot Man’ found dead at foot of Geylang Bahru block

The eccentric "Parrot Man" who became a familiar face during election seasons was found dead at the foot of his Geylang Bahru block on Saturday night.

Mr Zeng Guoyuan, 66, had earned the moniker after blaming his pet parrot for getting him into trouble with the law.

A police spokesman said: "A 66-year-old man was found lying motionless at the foot of (Block 68 Geylang Bahru) and pronounced dead at the scene by a paramedic. Investigations are ongoing."

The former businessman led a colourful - and often controversial - life that came with its share of setbacks.

He had attempted to contest various elections as an independent candidate between 2011 and 2015 but had ultimately changed his mind or been rejected in each case.

Mr Zeng was diagnosed with nose cancer in 2014 and had to undergo surgery that left him with some facial disfigurement.

But the cancer spread and he underwent surgery to remove part of his large intestine, forcing him to use a colostomy bag.

He told The New Paper in 2015 that doctors had said his condition was terminal. At the time, he was selling tissue paper outside the Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple in Waterloo Street.

He made headlines two years later when he was involved in a spat with the management of Ngee Ann City mall. Mr Zeng had frequently peddled tissue paper at an underground walkway leading to the mall.

Police were called more than 30 times in six months, with the mall's management even putting up a notice telling passers-by not to give him money, as he was a "capable person" who could walk and ride a bike.

Last year, Mr Zeng was arrested for disorderly behaviour in Orchard Road. He was also given a stern warning over an unconnected incident at Geylang Serai Market, where he hurt two police officers.

Separately, a police senior staff sergeant who intentionally damaged a walking stick belonging to Mr Zeng during a run-in in 2016 and then lied about his actions, was jailed earlier this year.


HELPLINES

Samaritans of Singapore 1800-221-4444

Singapore Association for Mental Health 1800-283-7019

Care Corner Counselling Centre (Mandarin) 1800-353-5800

Tinkle Friend 1800-274-4788

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