Did he run away because of exam stress?

Above: A flier created by a Facebook user, asked for help to find missing Primary 6 pupil Matthew Tjong, who ran away from home on Tuesday.

SINGAPORE - In a case believed to be linked to exam-related stress, a boy ran away from home on Tuesday, leaving his parents "worried sick".

Matthew Jason Tjong, 12, a St Andrews Junior School Primary 6 student, was last seen at Boon Keng MRT station at 1.30pm on Tuesday.

His parents then began "combing Singapore frantically, searching for him everywhere and anywhere we can think of".

An appeal also went viral on Facebook and Twitter, in which the Tjongs pleaded for information on their son's whereabouts.

They filed a report with the police on Tuesday evening and efforts were initiated to search for him.

On Thursday afternoon, the police issued a public appeal for information.

At 12.28am on Friday, popular blogger Mr Brown, who had joined in the appeal to find Matthew, posted that he "had been found and reunited safely with his family".

When contacted over the phone at 1.30am, Matthew's father said the police had just dropped off his son at their home.

"He is well and healthy, and we have put him to bed," Mr Tjong said.

Sounding tired, he added that he didn't know where Matthew was found as he has not had a chance to get a "debrief" from the police.

Earlier, his wife had said in a message posted online that their son had left a note to explain why he had run away.

The New Paper understands that the letter mentioned that he was stressed out by the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE), which he has to sit for this year.

The PSLE started yesterday with the English oral examination, which Matthew missed. The Mother Tongue oral examination will be held today. Matthew had not turned up in school since Wednesday.

His parents earlier declined to be interviewed, but the online message yesterday stated: "He has no phone with him and just a couple of tens in his pockets. He is smart and intelligent...

"If you work in McDonald's, 7-Eleven or any place where you think he'd go like Internet cafes, LAN game places... Please help send out the message to look out for him?

"We know when he was last seen, he was not taken away by force, he did leave a 'runaway' note. Please share this, please."

And some people stepped in to help.

On "Jiajia Bigbrother", the Facebook page of local YouTube child sensations Dr Jiajia and Bigbro, was a post titled "Missing Boy!!! Please Help!!!".

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