Man's body found in HDB flat
Neighbours didn?t know that the elderly man, who lived alone, had died. -TNP
SINGAPORE - He would be seen at the market early in the morning.
And he liked to walk around the neighbourhood in the afternoons.
In the evenings, he would park himself outside the lift landing and greet his neighbours as they returned home from work.
For the past few days, some residents of Block 117, Ho Ching Road, Jurong West, had noticed the absence of their friendly neighbour, Mr Ong Geok Soon.
But they thought nothing of it.
Until they saw police officers outside Mr Ong's flat last night.
His decomposed body was discovered by the police inside his two-room HDB flat on the fifth storey of Block 117.
A relative said he was a bachelor in his 80s.
Police said they were told about a foul smell coming from Mr Ong's flat at about 3.55pm yesterday. Investigations are ongoing.
One of Mr Ong's relatives, who wanted to be known only as Madam Ong, told The New Paper that she received a call from her friend who works at a coffee shop, telling her that Mr Ong had been found dead inside his flat.
She said in Mandarin: "I got the news at about 4pm. Recently, he had been complaining of pain in his legs. My relatives and I wondered if he had fallen and died inside his flat. We were told that he could have been dead for four days."
Madam Ong's mother is Mr Ong's sister-in-law.
She said that Mr Ong had been living alone in the flat for more than a decade.
"He had three older sisters and one older brother, who have all died," said Madam Ong.
She added that her mother, who is in her 80s, would visit Mr Ong occasionally.
An old man who lives in the rented flat next to Mr Ong's described him as a friendly man who would smile and nod whenever he walked past his flat.
Said the old man, who declined to be named: "I did not smell anything foul emitting from his flat even though I live just next door.
"It was only when the police came to ask me some questions that I was told that my neighbour had died inside his flat."
Miss Salinah Begum, 17, who lives one floor below Mr Ong, said: "When I came home from school just after 4pm, I took the same lift as the police.
"I heard them banging the door loudly before some officers cut open the grille gate."
Another neighbour, who lives next to Mr Ong's unit, said: "I have never seen anyone visiting the old man. He has been living alone for more than 10 years. I am shocked to learn of his death."
Late last year, TNP reported that since 2007, more than 50 elderly people had been found dead in their homes.
To help the elderly who live alone at home - elderly people like Mr Ong - TNP partnered Ngee Ann Polytechnic and Lions Befrienders Service Association (Singapore), to install wireless motion sensors, known as the elderly monitoring system, in 1,000 homes of senior citizens who are living alone.
The project is targeted to raise $1 million to cover the cost of manufacturing and the installation of the sensors.
More than $800,000 has been raised so far.
This article was first published in The New Paper.
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