Ten-year-old risks fall to retrieve ball

He felt "a bit scared" as he stood near the railings, but he did it anyway.

At around 6pm on Tuesday, a 10-year-old boy shocked his neighbours when he climbed down from the third storey of Block 33, Bendemeer Road, onto a ledge one storey below - just to retrieve a ball.

One false move and he could have fallen onto the concrete below.

Luckily, the boy, who lives in a rented one-room flat in the same block, managed to safely retrieve the ball before climbing back up to the common corridor on the third storey.

Speaking to The New Paper yesterday, the small-sized Primary 4 pupil said he was playing with a friend at a playground beside Block 33 when his friend accidentally kicked the ball onto the ledge.

"I decided to get it back," he said.

The schoolboy said he initially wanted to climb onto the ledge from the second storey of the block. But he could not access the ledge as there were grilles at the end of the corridor that blocked his way.

So he decided to climb down from the third storey instead.

He said: "It was the first time I did it and I will never do it again.

"My mother doesn't know that I climbed down. She will scold me if she finds out."


The boy revealed that after throwing the ball down to his friends who were waiting below, he tried to lower himself to the first storey from the roof of a walkway shelter.

But he decided against it as it was too high.

So he climbed back up to the third storey before returning to the playground and resumed playing with his friends.

A man, who only wanted to be known as Mr Tan, told Lianhe Wanbao that two passers-by, a middle-aged woman and a man, were on the pavement with their arms outstretched, ready to catch the boy in case he took a tumble as he tried to lower himself to the ground.

Said the 51-year-old delivery man: "He could have died if he slipped. It's not worth losing a life over a ball. Parents in general should let their children know the severity of this matter."

But according to other residents, such incidents are quite common.


Manager Robin Ho, who lives at nearby Block 30, said he has seen other boys climb down from the third storey of Block 33 to retrieve missing balls from that same ledge.

He did not think it is dangerous because he had done similar antics when he was younger.

TNP went to the boy's flat, but nobody answered the door.

The boy's neighbour, Madam Faridah Amat, 58, who lives two doors away, said she was unaware of what happened on Tuesday even though she tries to keep an eye on him.

She said the boy lives with his mother who often leaves for work early in the morning. The mother only returns home at night so the boy is home alone the whole day.

Madam Faridah said: "I've lived here for about 10 years and they have lived there for about the same length of time. I've never seen other family members living with them.

"He is a very sweet boy. He always calls me 'nenek' (grandmother in Malay) whenever he sees me. He is not naughty, just very independent."


This article was first published on May 15, 2015.
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