Unrequited love took a violent twist yesterday afternoon when a popiah seller was stabbed at her Kopitiam stall in VivoCity mall.
The victim's colleague, Ms Yuliana, told The New Paper that a man had accused her friend of having "a boyfriend on the side" before stabbing her twice in the abdomen.
She said: "We got a shock when he walked into the stall.
"After he accused her, Amin (the victim) and I asked him what he was doing (in the stall) and that's when he said, 'This popiah has no chilli'.
"I think he said that to distract us because the next thing I knew, he had pulled out a knife from behind him and stabbed Amin twice."
The 44-year-old victim was taken to the Singapore General Hospital.
The police said they received a call at 4.49pm and later arrested a 67-year-old man for voluntarily causing grievous hurt.
Investigations are ongoing.
Ms Yuliana said she did not recall seeing the alleged assailant until he started wooing Ms Amin persistently on Monday, which was the first time he had gone to the stall.
He was back at the stall, which also sells goreng pisang and vegetarian food, on Wednesday.
"Amin didn't feel the same way about him," said Ms Yuliana.
"She told him that he was already 'so old and probably going to die soon'. She kept telling him she wasn't interested in having a relationship with him."
Yesterday, he turned up at the stall at about 3pm and bought popiah.
Ms Yuliana, who started working at the stall four months ago, said: "Amin told him again that she wasn't interested in him.
"She spoke to him in quite a rough manner, but he still kept trying to woo her."
He then spent the next hour wandering around the foodcourt, catching glimpses of Ms Amin whenever he walked past her stall.
At about 4.45pm, he attacked her after accusing her of having a boyfriend.
Ms Yuliana said: "After he stabbed Amin, he casually walked out of the stall with the knife in his hand. Nobody dared to do anything until an off-duty police officer came to help."
She said the officer and his wife rushed towards the stall when they became aware of the attack.
"While his wife tended to Amin's wounds to try to stop the bleeding, the officer told the man to put the knife down and not move."
Ms Yuliana said the man did as he was told before telling the officer: "I'm standing right here. I'm not going anywhere."
Despite feeling lightheaded from the blood loss, Ms Amin was concerned about her loved ones, Ms Yuliana said.
"Amin could barely keep her eyes open, but she told me to make sure that her sister takes in her 19-year-old daughter if she were to die."
Ms Sara, another worker from the stall, accompanied Ms Amin to the hospital.
Said Ms Yuliana: "She looked very pale when the paramedics took her away. Even in that state, I could see the worry on her face."
At about 10pm yesterday, she told TNP that Ms Amin was out of surgery.
"Sara just called to tell me that Amin is out of her three-hour operation and though she still feels lightheaded, she is okay," she said.
This article was first published on February 27, 2016.
Get The New Paper for more stories.