The death of a man with a history of family violence after he jumped down from a flat in Yishun last year was ruled a suicide on Tuesday (2 May).
Ong Chai Seng, 63, who was pronounced dead on 16 November 2016 at 6.12am, had attacked his wife repeatedly with his walking stick just before his death.
State Coroner (SC) Marvin Bay noted that Ong had “an aggressive and violent disposition” in his findings into the death.
Ong was living with his wife Koh Eng on the 12th floor of Blk 737 Yishun Street 72 when the incident happened. The couple’s son was staying with them while their daughter was living on the 7th floor of the same block.
The daughter had called the police after her badly injured mother turned up at her flat on 16 November 2016 at about 5.55am. Police officers who were at the flat found blood on Koh’s mouth and ears, and a pool of blood in the living room.
On the day of the incident, Ong and Koh were due to attend court. Koh had applied for a personal protection order (PPO) against Ong. The couple’s son had told the police that his parents had not been on good terms for many years.
Koh told the police that Ong had used a walking stick to attack her on her head as he was unhappy about having to attend the court hearing into the PPO.
Prior to the scheduled PPO hearing, Koh had obtained an expedited order on 8 November 2016 against Ong to immediately restrain him from committing family violence against her.
The couple’s daughter also attested to her father’s violent tendencies since she was a child. Ong had previously used a thick wooden pole to hit her, and also punched and slapped her on different occasions.
Having extra-marital affairs
Ong’s family members also stated that he had been involved in extra-marital affairs over the years.
More than two decades ago, Ong left his family to live with another woman. He was jailed in 1994 for assaulting his girlfriend, and he later moved back to stay with his family. He left his family again to be with another woman a few years later and only returned after he had a stroke in 2005.
Ong was jailed six weeks in 1994 after he was convicted of the charges of criminal intimidation and causing hurt.
Koh said that her relationship with Ong had deteriorated due to his affairs. Despite her husband’s violent acts towards her over the years, Koh had refrained from informing the police about them until the latest incident.
The couple’s children had also noted Ong’s suicidal tendencies. Their daughter recalled that after Ong suffered from stroke, he once sat on the ledge of a window in the living room and said that he wanted to commit suicide. Their son was able to pull Ong back to safety.
In the weeks leading to the incident on 16 November 2016, Ong had shown erratic behaviour. He had suspected his family members of putting detergent into his drinking water, causing him to suffer abdominal pains.
Noting Ong’s prior six-week jail term, SC Bay said the deceased “would thus be expected to firmly comprehend the probable consequences of his prolonged assault on Mdm Koh, who had already been granted an expedited order against him.
“Thereafter, Mr Ong, being likely aware of the full implications of his actions, had apparently opened his kitchen windows and grilles, positioned the chair for his access to the open window, and caused himself to fall from height in a deliberate act of suicide.”