Two years after horrific attack, teen supports herself

Two years after the triple murders of three Chinese nationals in Yishun, the surviving victim, now 18, told Lianhe Wanbao that she is solely surviving on her mother's savings of $10,000 and donations from the public.

May (not her real name) lost her mother, Madam Yang Jie, in the vicious attack that happened on the night of September 18, 2009, at Block 349, Yishun St 11. She was found at the bottom of the block of flats.

Another mother-daughter pair, Madam Zhang Meng and Feng Jian Yu, also from China, also died in the same attack. Their bodies suffered slash wounds and were found in the bedroom of their flat. A Chinese national, Wang Zhi Jian, has been arrested for their murders. All five of them had been renting the flat at the time.

When May spoke to the Chinese evening daily, evidence of her horrific attacks still remained. She lost her right eye, and now wears a false eyeball, while scars on her lower jaw are still very obvious. Her right ear had nearly been severed in the attack as well, but the slash wounds on her face have faded with time.

May is currently a Secondary Four student and lives alone in Singapore without any financial support, as both her biological father and stepfather, who reside in China, are unable to care for her due to their own tight financial situations.

Her 42-year-old biological father is a taxi driver, and is remarried with a two-year-old son.

And even though she gets along well with her stepfather, he does not earn very much either and has to care for her younger stepsister.

However, she is worried that her savings will run out, as she has to fork out a monthly room rental of $350, as well as put aside money for her school fees. She hopes to enter a polytechnic to study a three-year design course, which will cost about $4,000 to $5,000 a year.

While her situation seems dire, the self-professed cheerful teenager says she "will not cry", and even describes her false as a decorative piece for display only.

She added: "I have gotten used to the way I look now. After all, my classmates and students are used to it too."

May also tries to stay in touch with both her fathers by telephone every week. Her biological father feels guilty for not being able to take care of her, and voices his regret to her when he drinks, while her stepfather cannot come to terms with her mother's death. She said that the latter looks aged and haggard now.

But the optimistic teen has tried to advise her stepfather to move on and look for another wife when she visited him in China in June last year.

May said: "I force myself to forget about what happened, and as time goes by, I really have forgotten."