1 day 10,000 signatures: Intellectually disabled woman tortured to death by couple sparks outrage

The details of the crime has shocked Singapore.

Belmont Lay | November 29, 2017, 03:28 AM

News that a Singaporean couple tortured their flat mate, an intellectually disabled woman, to death over a period of eight months, has sparked widespread outrage in Singapore.

The news was first reported on Nov. 27.

Within a day, on Nov. 28, an online petition expressing shock at the details of the case received close to 10,000 signatures.

Click to go to petition

Details of petition

The details of the petition were not properly spelled out, but it highlighted the charges against the couple and the possible maximum sentences that can be meted out.

According to reports, prosecutors are seeking 15 years' jail for the woman and 14 years' jail and 12 strokes of the cane for the man.

The couple comprises of the woman, Tan Hui Zhen, 33, and her husband Pua Hak Chuan, 38

The deceased is 26-year-old Annie Ee Yu Lian.

Tan and Pua pleaded guilty to various charges for the extensive torture of Ee, who died from multiple injuries in the couple's Woodlands four-room flat.

The couple were initially charged with murder.

But they pleaded guilty to reduced charges on Monday, Nov. 27.

Tan pleaded guilty to four of 14 charges -- two counts of causing grievous hurt with a weapon and two counts of causing grievous hurt. Pua pleaded guilty to three out of four charges -- two counts of causing grievous hurt with a weapon and one of causing hurt.

They will be sentenced on Friday.


Recipients of petition

Five recipients were listed in the petition:

• Attorney General's Chambers

• People's Action Party

• Minister for Law & Minister for Home Affairs K. Shanmugam

• Deputy Senior State Counsel April Phang Suet Fern

• State Counsel Claire Poh Hui Jing

Extent of injuries suffered by victim

The petition was likely sparked to register the shock at the extent of torture suffered by the victim.

These included:

• Victim slapped repeatedly for hours by the woman

• The husband took our the slapping when the woman got tired

• Confiscated victim's S$1,200 paycheck and gave her S$30 weekly allowance

• Victim also beaten with a pair of bedroom slippers, a bright red plastic belt, a bamboo stick, a plastic dustbin and a large, heavy roll of shrink wrap.

• Beatings caused multiple blisters on victim’s buttocks, the largest measuring 7.5cm in diameter.

• Victim hit with a plastic dustbin while curled up on the floor, causing the plastic dustbin to break from the impact.

• Victim suffered 12 fractured ribs and seven fractured vertebrae, a ruptured stomach and many bruises when she died.

• The day before she died, the victim attempted suicide.

• The victim was found dead in her bed on April 13, 2015

• The couple said she had hurt herself and died

About two weeks before Ee's death, Tan and Pua started to monitor the victim's blood pressure and heart rate when they realised she was growing increasingly weak.

The beatings stopped briefly for two days but continued thereafter.

On the last night, the victim was helped back into her room. She was discovered dead the next morning.

Previous petition that expressed public outrage

Petitions are occasionally used in Singapore to express public outrage.

A previous online petition that gained momentum here was in March 2017.

The petition called for harsher punishment for convicted sex fiend Joshua Robinson, the 39-year-old American expatriate in Singapore who has been jailed four years for sexually assaulting two 15-year-old girls and filming the assaults.

Within 12 hours of being online on March 5, 2017, it received more than 1,000 signatures.

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