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Man found dead in Punggol rental flat sold items at nearby malls

SINGAPORE — The body of a 68-year-old man was found in his flat at Blk 621B Edgefield Walk on Thursday (Dec 28).

Man found dead in Punggol rental flat sold items at nearby malls

The decomposed body was discovered after police gained entry into the unit through the services of a locksmith. Photo: Alfred Chua/TODAY

SINGAPORE — He lived alone in a one-room rental flat with a bright orange door at Blk 621B Edgefield Walk.

Phua Yong Cheng, 68, was a man of few words but would respond in a smattering of English and Malay when asked by a neighbour about his day.

He would leave the flat on the 17th floor – sometimes in a wheelchair and, other times, on foot – to sell assorted trinkets and souvenirs such as ez-link card stickers at nearby malls such as Waterway Point or Punggol Plaza.

The last time his neighbour, Mr Yusof Abdul Majid, 62, saw him was on Dec 18. Phua was on his way out to sell the trinkets and they exchanged greetings.

On Thursday (Dec 28), Phua’s decomposing body was found in his flat by the police. A social worker who had been unable to contact him is believed to have alerted the police at 9.28am.

Mr Yusof, a retiree who lives with his wife two units away from Phua, noticed a smell on Wednesday evening which became stronger the next morning, before police officers entered the flat.

It is not known if Phua was married but he lived alone and seldom had visitors, said Mr Yusof, the only neighbour out of about 20 households approached by TODAY who knew Phua.

Other households – including his next-door neighbour – were unaware of what had happened in their block.

Some had noticed police cars in the late morning, but said they did not give the matter much thought.

“He was a friendly man, even though he doesn’t talk a lot,” said Mr Yusof, who said Phua was already living in the flat when he moved in more than a year ago.

Phua would sometimes come by his house to borrow household tools.

“Of course we are sad to hear (the news). He died alone in his flat, and we don’t know what happened to him,” Mr Yusof said.

Police investigations into Phua’s death are ongoing. TODAY understands there is no foul play involved and that his next-of-kin has been informed.

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