Driven to suicide by financial mess

Botched family suicides ends in a homicide

PETALING JAYA - Financial desperation led a couple to several suicide attempts and the eventual death of their five-year-old daughter.

This picture of the couple's financial mess has emerged from accounts given by people who know the family.

A family friend said he knew that the couple were in financial difficulties as the girl's father had asked for a RM30,000 (S$12,000) loan from a relative on Sept 9, two days before the first attempted suicide.

"He told the relative that he had a project but needed money to kick-start the work.

"The relative was willing to help by supplying the materials and machines needed for the project but refused to give cash," he said, adding that the girl's father used to work in a company owned by the relative several years ago, but left to start his own construction business.

He claimed that the girl's father and the relative had a disagreement over some missing funds prior to him leaving the company.

"The relative even helped him pay debts many times when he was working with him. The apartment they lived in also belonged to the relative," he added.

Meanwhile, the teacher in charge of the kindergarten where the dead girl studied said the mother approached the kindergarten for a job a few months ago.

 

"But we did not have a vacancy at the time," said the woman, who only wanted to be known as Wong.

It was reported that a family suicide attempt turned into a homicide case against the couple when one of their two children died.

The man is a contractor who has been without a job for almost a month. He and his wife were arrested on Wednesday.

They first attempted suicide on Sept 11 by burning charcoal in the master bedroom before they went to bed in their second floor apartment at Sri Manja Square, Taman Sri Sentosa, off Old Klang Road here.

When the suicide attempt failed, they tried again the next day. This time their daughter died.

They kept the body in the apartment until it was discovered on Thursday morning after the girl's kindergarten teacher asked a classmate's mother to check on the girl, who had been absent from school for more than five days.

The girl was five years old while her brother is seven.

In a related development, Petaling Jaya OCPD Asst Comm Arjunaidi Mohamed said the man, in his 50s, and his wife, in her 40s, would be under remand for six days until Sept 24.

He said the couple were brought to the magistrate's court at about 10am yesterday for the remand process.

SERVICES