A 25-year-old Chinese national ended his life after he was sacked from his job as a cook here. Faced with daunting prospects and feeling cheated by a middleman who helped him find work in Singapore, Su Zhong Qing leapt off the 10th floor if the apartment block he was living in on Monday (!6 Oct).
He did not survive the suicide attempt.
Su’s mother, 59-year-old Mdm Li Hua, collected his body this past Saturday (28 Oct). She recounted to the Chinese daily that she had a video-call with him just moments before he ended his life, when he told her that he had been cheated in the process of finding work in Singapore:
“He said he got cheated by the middleman (who helped him find work in Singapore) and that he wasn’t happy at work. I told him to resign and come home, but he told me he wanted to earn back the money he borrowed to pay for the middleman fees first.”
Su had arrived in Singapore in July this year and began working as a cook at a Marina Square restaurant.
He was abruptly fired from his job early last month, after he failed a cooking exam.
Laden with debt due to the costs of finding a job in Singapore, Su became depressed that he would not be able to pay off his financial obligations now that he had lost his job.
Still, Mdm Li did not expect her son to take his own life. She added:
“The recruitment firm didn’t tell us where he had been staying, and didn’t buy insurance for him. The restaurant staff said they gave S$1000 in pek kim (condolence money) for my son to the recruitment firm but we didn’t receive it.”
Mdm Li further elaborated that the funeral parlour kindly gave her family a large discount.
Responding to allegations that he had made off with the $1000 condolence money from the restaurant, Su’s middleman explained to the Chinese daily that he used the money to pay for the funeral costs and that he did not bother contacting Su’s family because he thought they had already made their own plans:
“I thought the family already made their own arrangements, and we had paid for their 2-day hotel expenses. They checked with the police when they arrived so we didn’t explain the circumstances further to them.”
The middleman alleged that he had met Su two days prior to the fatal leap and had assuaged him that he would find another job for him. He added that he did not expect Su to day that he wanted to return home the next day, or that Su would commit suicide.
Su has been cremated in Singapore. His ashes will be sent back to his hometown in China.