Duo charged with murder of woman at Woodlands flat

Pua Hak Chuan, 35, (left) and Tan Hui Zhen, 31, both charged for murder their flatmate Ee Yu Lian Annie, 26, in a housing board unit in Woodlands Avenue 9.
PHOTO: Wikimedia Commons

A couple were charged in court yesterday with the murder of a woman at a Woodlands flat on Monday morning.

Pua Hak Chuan, 35, and Tan Hui Zhen, 31, allegedly caused the death of waitress Annie Ee Yu Lian, 26, at their third-floor unit in Block 878, Woodlands Avenue 9 at 9.38am.

The couple were calm when the charge was read to them in Mandarin.

They were remanded at the Central Police Division lock-up.

Ms Ee, who had worked in a Japanese restaurant at Causeway Point, addressed Tan as "big sister" and was not related to the couple.

Paramedics found her lying on a mattress in a bedroom of the flat.

The couple will return to court on Wednesday.

Neighbours told The Straits Times on Tuesday that they had not noticed anything untoward on Monday morning.

Some people were not aware that a person had died, although one said she frequently noticed bruises on Miss Ee's face and arms.

They spoke of the housemates as fairly reserved people who almost always kept their front door closed.

"They kept to themselves," said the woman living in the next-door unit, who wanted to be known only as Melody.

"They had friends over sometimes, but they weren't noisy."

She added that the trio had been living in the unit for about six months and presumably rented the flat.

Although neighbours said that Miss Ee addressed the 31-year-old woman as "older sister" in Mandarin, Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao reported that they were not on good terms.

The older woman would allegedly call Miss Ee's workplace - food outlet Hot Tomato - or go there to check if she was at work.

A manager at Hot Tomato told The Straits Times that Ms Ee resigned last month. She confirmed that Ms Ee used to arrive at work badly bruised.

One neighbour - who wanted to be known only as Madam Xu - said that she and Miss Ee both worked at nearby shopping mall Causeway Point and often took the same bus home.

"I would see a big bruise on the side of her face, and then a few days later, there would be another one on the other side," Madam Xu said in Mandarin. "She would cover them up with a thick layer of powder.

"I asked her what happened, and she told me that she had fallen down. She started avoiding me after that."

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