Man called girlfriend before setting himself and car on fire

SINGAPORE - A second-hand car dealer who died after setting fire to himself and his car in March this year, had called his girlfriend to tell her of his intention to kill himself.

According to the Shin Min Daily, the deceased, Mr Chen Ying Long, 51, was an avid car enthusiast. He called his girlfriend on March 21 at 11.50pm, telling her that "he wants to die, and die with his beloved car".

But his girlfriend, Miss Chen Yu Mei, 37, thought he was being emotional and brushed off his comments.

The deceased also told her that he thought life was meaningless, and said he planned to meet his mother in the after-life.

Mr Chen's mother had died a year ago. According to Ms Chen, he felt guilty for not spending enough time with her, and became addicted to gambling.

He had lost more than $120,000 at the casinos, and was left with a debt of $72,500 at the time of his death.

His burnt body and car were found at a parking lot along East Coast Parkway.

According to the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), Chen had started the fire from the driver's seat using a naked light.

The cause of death was due to skin-related burns.

Reverend Tan Lye Keng, executive director of One Hope Centre which runs support groups for problem gamblers said that family members should take action or seek help if their loved ones who have gambling problems have talked about killing themselves.

HELPLINES
Samaritans of Singapore (SOS): 1800-2214444
Singapore Association for Mental Health: 1800-2837019
Sage Counselling Centre: 1800-5555555
Care Corner Mandarin Counselling: 1800-3535800