Shady Business Deal and Public Affair May Have Triggered Father-in-Law to Murder Son-in-Law at Boon Tat St

Credit: ST

“What needs to be done has been done.”

This is what 69-year-old Tan Nam Seng said to his daughter, Tan Cheng Cheng, after he repeatedly stabbed and killed Cheng Cheng’s husband at Boon Tat Street on Monday, 10 July 2017.

Cheng Cheng’s husband, Spencer Tuppani, was killed exactly a week before the couple’s 13th anniversary.

By all accounts, Spencer was a “very nice” man, as described by his neighbours at Bedok South. His colleagues corroborate that seemed to lead a happy, harmonious family life with his wife and three children, aged between 6 and 10.

Professionally, Spencer seemed to have the Midas touch. At the young age of 24, Spencer became the CEO and director of transport service provider, Air Sea Consolidator before it was bought over in 2006 by his father-in-law, at which point it was renamed TNS Ocean Lines and absorbed into Nam Seng’s now 42-year-old conglomerate, TNS Group Holdings.

The acquisition gave Spencer access to funds that led him to stabilise TNS Ocean Lines. By 2014, he had increased the company’s annual turnover by 4,900% to $100 million.

Spencer’s image was further boosted when he told August Man magazine in 2014 that he sold “practically everything he owned” to keep his father-in-law’s firm afloat during the recession of 2008. That same year, he was nominated as a finalist for the Outstanding Entrepreneur Award in the Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry-DBS Singapore Indian Entrepreneur Awards in 2014.

So what led Nam Seng to kill Spencer and make his daughter a widow and his grandchildren fatherless? What did Spencer do to drive Nam Seng to such an extreme?

While Spencer appeared to be an upstanding individual in the public life, he seemed to have led a double-life filled with messy extramarital liaisons and unsavoury business ventures.

Following marital difficulties in 2014, Spencer led an open extramarital affair with an older woman when his wife refused to sign divorce papers. It was revealed by the Chinese daily that Cheng Cheng herself was courted under similar circumstances when Spencer divorced his first wife.

An ardent clubbing enthusiast, Spencer also invested in a nightclub along Shenton Way, and two “flower joints” at Kim Seng Road and Great World City where men could engage in intimate relations with 30-plus hostesses, provided they pay at least $100 to buy garlands for them.

The final straw for Nam Seng may have been when Spencer sold TNS Ocean Lines, the company which saw an annual turnover of $100 million, to GKE Corporation for a mere $9 million before taking up a share in GKE.

While Nam Seng and Cheng Cheng were discharged from TNS Ocean Lines, Spencer seemed to have been rewarded by the deal which gave him a 7.05% equity position in GKE Corporation, which was valued at $130 million this year.

Nam Seng approached Spencer at the Eden Garden cafe at Boon Tat to talk about the sale of TNS Ocean Lines and his relationship with Cheng Cheng.

When Spencer defiantly refused to talk, Nam Seng exposed a 20cm knife he had been carrying and stabbed Spencer ten times in the chest before chasing him for over 100m where Spencer collapsed.

Nam Seng calmly watched over his bleeding victim, preventing bystanders to help and telling them to let “the bad guy” die.

He then called his daughter and said:

“I’ve been having a hard time sleeping at night, but now I finally killed Tuppani, I’m old and I’m not afraid of jail. What needs to be done has been done. Please don’t cry.”

Spencer passed away about an hour after reaching Singapore General Hospital.

In a statement following the death of her husband, Cheng Cheng said:

“This is a double tragedy for the family. Our family has lost a loved one and my beloved father is facing a serious charge. You cannot imagine our immense grief, but please try to understand and let us have some peace.”

Spencer’s funeral was held yesterday, 14 July. It was attended by Cheng Cheng, their children and Spencer’s mistress.

Nam Seng has been remanded at the Complex Medical Centre in Changi Prison for psychiatric evaluation.


  1. If this is true, he certainly deserved punishment but perhaps not of this kind which would also penalise his widow, their children and father-in-law whom he cheated (and cheated upon).

  2. Devious, Conniving snake cannot get off scot free. Even if the Father-in-law forgave him this guy will continue his evil ways as he believe that he is smart and untouchable. Unfortunately he underestimate his Father-in-law’s prowess. Now he can’t spend a single cent of his ill gotten gains and can no longer have sex. What a fool who thinks he’s invincible. We have a lot of rich and powerful people who think like him. They forget that they are mere mortals

  3. A loving father who would give up his life for his daughter to protect what rightfully belongs to them.

    Letting that Indian snake slither his way into their family and company was the biggest misfortune that ever happen to them.

  4. The old man was at his wit’s end for unable to sort out his family and business problems with an unscrupulous son-in-law who probably married his daughter to achieve “success” in own life and then now only settle on terms favorable to the latter.

  5. This is a man which in bahasa called ” sudah lepas jembatan buang tongkat”. His downfall is he underestimated the pent up fury of the tongkat.

  6. ‘While Spencer appeared to be an upstanding individual in the public life, he seemed to have led a double-life filled with messy extramarital liaisons and unsavoury business ventures.’

    Why am I not surprised?

  7. Don’t know what is his educational and family background? Doubt he is born rich. A gigolo who con women to get to where he is? Or some Ah Beng or gangster.

  8. A case of 2 wrongs…. may we be enlightened that everything is impermanence. A simplest meal with our love ones is the healthiest and happiest meal in the world, and it costs next to nothing.

  9. Such a brave and honourable man to calmly sacrifice his life to correct an evil wrong against his daughter. This selfless act will mitigate his killing.

  10. What puzzling me is how the old man managed to do it,considering his age and body build relative to that of the deceased. He must have either taken the deceased on with element of surprise or he is a martial art exponent.

  11. As I see it. That’s a clear indication as to why’d the father-in-law does it. At least there’s stories about him (the son-in-law) and how he has been making other people miserable. As for the old man, he has done something wrong, at which the law will take its due process.

  12. Secretly “kicked” out both father-in-law & wife out of the company by selling & switching company’s name. Most unforgiveable were father-in-law’s previous company funds were utilised fully by deceased & publicizing his new extramarital affair “to give ground” to wife for divorce.. clever!

    • If this real, the deceased deserve it. Cheng Cheng, please take care of the children. Whatever, its has been done. Forgive your father and move on. Most probably your father will spend a few years imprisonment. Life for him is not easy, but its has quenched his agony. Respect him. We have only one father. Spouse could be more, if necessary. Regards.

  13. Could have ruined even more peoples’ lives
    if alive!
    Father-in-law should have hired a “hitman” to finished him off or confront him alone..

  14. Father-in-law paid for mistake made by daughter’s choice of husband.. made further mistake by “allowing” deceased control of company..
    Let hope his grandchildren do not “inherit” the same deceased “evil & cheating” genes..
    otherwise end up no good..bad karma!

  15. while a human should not take the life of another human , nevertheless, it’s good to see cheaters punished…

    Yes you can cheat , but you may not get to spend a single cent of what you cheated…

  16. “If this father in law’s charge can be changed to unintentional kill with mental problems that this person caused”..,”might there still have slim chance”..,but this uncle sees like “got mental problem”..,”can anyone send him to see a psychologist?”

  17. Lets not be racist. At the same time Its not right to take away another person’s life…leave it to God….he will be the judge. Now everyone lose. No husband ..children got no more father and soon no more grandfather…..daughter’s loving dad may get death sentence….oh dear what a mess!!!! So Sad!!!!

  18. Hope the old man will be spare the death penalty. What a great sacrifice for love on his daughter. Who knows how many more women and their father’s businesses he would fleece in his lifetime if he had lived.

  19. The FIL brought a knife along? Hmmm…….that spell premeditated.

    Is that still manslaughter or it’s first degree now?

    Regardless, no one has the right to take another man’s life no matter what the reasons are. If the court allow this, perhaps the Family Court will be quieter and we will have more news of such.

    The FIL knows exactly what he is doing and did. No insanity plea there.

    There are already 4 death penalty execution so far this year, are we gonna end the year with a fifth??? Well let’s start the new year afresh and not let this one drag on too long.

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