An 11-year-old boy was found dead at the foot of his Sengkang block along Fernvale Link, on 18 May around 7am, just nine days after the boy’s 11th birthday.

At a coroner inquiry held yesterday, The New Paper (TNP) reports that the boy’s 45-year-old mother thinks that the boy he had killed himself over his exam results by jumping from his bedroom window in the 17th-storey flat.

While his father, a 47-year-old customer service engineer reportedly said that he felt his son had accidentally fallen to his death. However, Lianhe Zaobao had earlier reported on 19 May that residents around the area saw him apologising profusely while kneeling in front of his son’s body.

The Chinese papers had also reported that a resident claimed that the family had been quarrelling before the incident.

Investigation officer Inspector Lynn Ong said in court that the boy’s mother, a housewife, had expected him to score at least 70 marks per subject for his exams.

While the Primary 5 boy had been scoring the anticipated results since Primary 1 to 4 but the boy found out that he had failed two papers – Mathematics and Higher Chinese in this year’s mid-year exams. And the boy was due to collect his exam results that fateful day for his parents to acknowledge.

The boy was described by the school principal as an average performer who was generally able to cope with school and noted that Primary 5 students tend to see a dip in their results due to changes in the examination formation in preparation for the Primary School Leaving Examination – the examination that would determine which Secondary School they are eligible to study in.

Out of a full score of 100 points, the boy scored 50 for English, 53.8 for Chinese, 57.5 for science, 12 marks for Higher Chinese and 20.5 for mathematics.

Insp Ong reportedly said that the mother was “very emotionally unstable” when the police arrived on scene and lamenting in Mandarin, saying ‘I only asked for 70 marks, I don’t expect you to get 80 marks,'”

Insp Ong also said in court that if the boy did not meet her expectations, the mother would cane his palm once for every mark short of 70 marks. However, Insp Ong noted that she would cane him only if his average score across all subjects was below 70 marks.

She was quoted to have said, “Sometimes, she would look through his examination papers first, and if they were difficult, she would not hit him.” and pointed that the mother will reward him, such as buying a gift for him, if he did well.

The boy found out his results before May 18, when the exam papers were returned to the pupils for checking.

On 18 May

The boy’s father said that he noticed that he was taking a longer time than usual to get ready for school. His mother tried to open the bedroom door, but it was locked. After using a spare key to unlock the door, they could not see any sign of the boy when they entered the room.

When they looked out of the window, they saw their son lying on a grass patch at the foot of their block. The mother then called the police at around 6.50am.

The police do not suspect any foul play involved in the boy’s death and it has been determined that the cause of death was found to be multiple injuries, consistent with those sustained after a person had fallen from height.

Identities of the boy, his family members and his school cannot be disclosed because of a gag order imposed.

Helplines

  • Samaritans of Singapore (SOS) – 1800-221-4444
  • National Family Service Centre – 1800-2220000
  • Singapore Association for Mental Health – 1800-283-7019
  • Care Corner Mandarin Counselling Centre – 1800-353-5800
  • Touchline (Touch Youth Service) – 6273 5568
  • Tinkle Friend: Children – 1800-274-4788 on weekdays
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