Cash missing from dead man at temple
HE WAS last seen alive at a friend's home, watching Taiwanese TV drama Lee's Family Reunion on Saturday night.
The next time someone saw former temple medium Tan Poh Huat, 53, he was lying motionless in a pool of blood outside the prayer hall of Chua Chu Kang Lian Sing Keng temple in Teck Whye Lane.
His body was discovered by pest control worker Tan Kui Seng, 68, who entered the temple to unlock the gates early on Sunday morning.
It is believed Mr Tan had sustained a head injury.
His friend said she last saw him at a Chinese New Year gathering on Saturday night at a mutual friend's flat.
The property is across the road from the temple.
She saw him leave a little after 7.30pm to buy cigarettes before heading back to the temple to turn in for the night.
"Before he left, he took out a stack of money and counted it. We thought nothing of it because that was his habit," said the woman who declined to be identified.
"Whether at a friend's place or at the coffee shop, he would simply take out his money to count."
His older brother, 60, who did not want to reveal his name, told reporters that Mr Tan's friends said he had received a sum of money amounting to about $10,000 just days before.
It was supposed to have been payment to a third party but the brother did not have any details of who had given Mr Tan the cash or whom the latter was supposed to pay.
"I only found out that he had exchanged a stack of $50 notes to $1,000 at a nearby coffee shop," the brother said.
Madam Tan Siew Huay, 63, said her late brother, who was uneducated, had always kept his money with him and always in the pockets of his trousers.
Yet, when he was found outside the prayer hall, he was shirtless and wearing only khaki shorts.
The siblings learnt that no money was found on him.
Mr Tan's younger son Junrong, 29, a diver, said he was informed of his father's death by the temple committee and rushed down from his home in Bukit Batok.
He, too, did not know how much his father had with him when he died.
"The police also asked me that," he said.
The last time he spoke to his father was on the phone a few days earlier.
"I called to wish him Happy New Year.
"We had wanted to meet for a meal but we didn't set the time or date," he said.
Police have classified the case as murder and are investigating.
THE NEW PAPER