Quiet sobs as news of King's death breaks here
The television sets in the building were not tuned in to a news channel, so the news broke late.
But soon enough, mobile phones beeped, as messages from friends and family in Thailand arrived with the bad news: Their king had died.
When the news sank in at the Golden Mile Complex - better known as Singapore's Little Thailand - yesterday evening, tears flowed, but quietly.
One helper at a restaurant on the first storey, Mr Somchit, 49, said he learnt of the king's passing from a news alert on his mobile phone.
"The king was like a father to the Thai people. I am very sad and I am crying inside my heart," he told The New Paper last night.
Another worker, Miss Ho Kannika, 41, in a shop selling toiletries, said: "King Bhumibol was our beloved leader and when he was sick, I prayed for him to recover.
"I am so sad he died."
Her colleague, Miss Kanjana Ruankham, 43, added: "We really respect our king because he worked very hard to unite the Thai people.
"I have tears in my eyes and tears in my heart but I cannot cry aloud."
Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej had spent much of the past year at Bangkok's Siriraj Hospital, where he was treated for various ailments.
A palace statement on Wednesday said the king's blood pressure had dropped, his pulse had quickened, his liver was not functioning normally, and a blood test showed signs of infection.
Florist Sudarat, 51, said she prayed every day for the king's recovery.
"When I heard news (of his death) on my phone, my heart broke into several pieces," she said.
She told TNP that she has a photo of King Bhumibol at home, which she will be bringing to her shop today.
"I will be going back to Thailand next month to mourn and attend the funeral," she said.
The news, however, proved too much for visitor Darunee Taitchan, 52, who had originally planned to spend a month here with her Singaporean boyfriend.
GRIEVING: Visiting Thai national Miss Darunee Taitchan cried uncontrollably when she learnt of the Thai king's death, and rushed to Golden Mile to buy an air ticket home. TNP PHOTO: CHOO CHWEE HUA
"I was supposed to return to Thailand next month, but when I heard our king had died, I rushed to Golden Mile and bought an air ticket home," said the resident of Phrae, near Chiangmai.
She leaves today.
Singapore sends its condolences
The Government of the Republic of Singapore is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of the Kingdom of Thailand, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.
The Government and people of Singapore convey their condolences to the royal family, the government and people of Thailand.
His Majesty King Bhumibol was an outstanding and deeply revered monarch. Throughout his long reign, he worked tirelessly for the betterment of the Thai people. His Majesty King Bhumibol also made great contributions for the enduring friendship between Thailand and Singapore. His Majesty King Bhumibol will long be remembered and respected both in Thailand and around the world for his devotion to his people.