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Sorry You’re Dead
By: RSS/News Feeds

A man prays for winning 4D numbers
One group goes to gawk
Another takes down unit number

The New Paper
23 June 2005

IT used to be just another ordinary HDB block in a quiet neighbourhood.

But now, residents of Block 114, Geylang Lorong 3, call it ‘hong pai’ (Mandarin for the most popular block).

China national Liu Hong Mei was allegedly killed and dismembered by Leong Siew Chor in his ninth-storey unit there.

Over the past few days, the block has seen its fair share of visitors.

THE 4D PUNTER

Retiree Steven Fung went there last night to pray to Hong Mei’s spirit and ask for a 4D number.

The 53-year-old even timed his visit – yesterday was the seventh day of Hong Mei’s death. The Chinese believe that it is on this day that the spirit will return.

After buying some joss sticks and incense paper, Mr Fung took a bus from his home in Bedok with his wife, 55.

He told The New Paper in Mandarin: ‘It’s tragic what happened to her. At the same time, I want to see if I can get lucky in 4D after paying my respects.

‘If I do strike it big, I’ll get some monks to perform some rites for her so she can embark on her final journey smoothly.’

After he burnt the joss sticks, he kneeled and bowed his head in prayer. Then he took out folded pieces of paper with the numbers 0 to 9 written on them.

Holding them in his palms, he shook them earnestly and picked each one as they fell out.

Until he got four numbers.

He declined to tell us what the number was, saying that it would ‘jinx’ his chances of winning.

Another man was less forthcoming about his intentions.

At the void deck, he asked who we were when he noticed us coming down from the ninth storey in the lift.

We told him we were reporters, and he said he was an employee at Agere Systems in Kallang. Leong and Hong Mei had worked at the company’s Serangoon North factory.

The man, in his 20s, said he did not know the pair, but he wanted to go to the unit to take a look as he lived nearby.

He asked if we could go up with him as he was afraid. We agreed.

Once there, he clasped his hands and prayed, before looking up at the unit number.

He sheepishly admitted to wanting to buy 4D when we asked him.

‘Three colleagues asked me to come to get the number as I live nearby.’

THE GAWKERS

Then there were those who just came to gawk.

A Chinese national in her 20s was there with her 10-year-old niece and 7-year-old nephew.

Carrying a copy of Lianhe Wanbao, they were still looking for the unit.

The woman, who wanted to be known only as Miss Lin, said she was from Fujian province and has been in Singapore for 15 years. She lives with the children in Woodlands.

She said: ‘My niece and I are going back to China for a short visit tomorrow, so we thought we’d come here tonight.’

She added that she was appalled by the brutal crime.

‘It’s so tragic – she came all the way from China to make a living, but ended up dead.’

THE SCAREDY-CAT

A resident on the sixth storey who did not want to be named, said that she had been so ‘freaked out’ by the murder she made sure that she was accompanied by either her husband or son whenever she had to go out.

The 49-year-old said: ‘I get chills running down my spine when I take the lift alone, especially the one which the person took to dispose of the body.

‘It’s even more eerie at night.

‘I never imagined that taking a lift could be so scary.’

Talk of the block

OVER the past week, the body parts murder has become the talk of the block.

Whether along the corridors, at the market or the nearby coffee shops, the topic has been on the lips of residents at Block 114 and the nearby blocks.

Mrs Kng, a housewife in her 40s who lives on the 10th storey, said: ‘Every day, the neighbours talk about the case. Even at the market, people talk about it.’

Many residents have been getting visits from reporters every day.

An old woman who lives next to the flat where the alleged murder took place was jittery when we knocked on her door last night.

SCARED

She said: ‘People have been knocking on my door so often. Sometimes, my imagination runs wild and I get scared.’

But despite the gruesome murder, life goes on for the residents in the block.

Madam Chia, 40, a hawker’s assistant, said: ‘People talk about it because it’s a shocking crime, but it doesn’t affect the way we live our lives.’

Unlike the resident on the sixth storey who is afraid to take the lift, others we spoke to are not bothered.

Mr Kng, 40, a supervisor, said: ‘We heard there were blood stains on the lift’s door and walls, but we still take the lift.

‘Why should we be afraid? We’ve done nothing wrong, and we don’t even know the dead girl.’

But some residents feel that maybe they should get together to organise a prayer session for Hong Mei.

A female resident on the 10th storey said: ‘It might put some residents at ease and also let her soul rest in peace.’

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