SINGAPORE, Jan 24 — A day after news broke about the death of two 11-year-old brothers, members of the public lined a large canal in Upper Bukit Timah, where their bodies were said to have been found, with candles and flowers.
One sign, handwritten on a paper plate that was cut in the shape of a flower, read: “May your souls rest in peace and give your family closure. No one deserves this, we mourn as one.
“God bless your souls and your family. Rest in peace, little angels.”
The boys, who were said to have special needs, were found motionless near a playground along Greenridge Crescent on Friday (Jan 21) night. Their father, who had called the police for help, will be charged with their murder on Monday.
The Straits Times identified the boys as Ethan and Ashton Yap. TODAY understands that their father is Xavier Yap Junh Houn.
The small playground is located at the edge of a quiet and hilly residential neighbourhood. The canal — where the boys’ bodies were said to have been found — cuts through the playground and leads into a forested plot of land behind.
On Sunday morning, representatives from six religious organisations held an inter-faith prayer session near the canal. They included Imam Md Idris from Al-Huda Mosque, Venerable Rui Zhen from Beeh Low See Temple and Father Francis Lim from the Church of St Ignatius.
Sim Ann, Member of Parliament for Holland-Bukit Timah Group Representation Constituency, was also present.
When TODAY was at the playground on Sunday afternoon, several people turned up to look at the scene and lay flowers at the canal. Some were also seen praying.
A couple who did not wish to be named said that they live nearby and had come to pay their respects. The woman cried, saying she was “very affected” by the news.
A 56-year-old lecturer at a music college, who wanted to be known only as Mike and lives along Toh Tuck Road, came with his 19-year-old daughter at about 5pm. Shortly after, cleaners cleared their bouquet of flowers along with the other offerings.
Mike said that he has lived in the area for about two-and-a-half years and usually jogged at the playground and a neighbouring park, which are connected by a path, alone.
“It’s a very peaceful place so I was shocked when I heard the news,” he added.
TODAY also visited The [email protected], an Upper Bukit Timah condominium complex believed to be where the family's home is. Residents there were unaware that the incident involved their fellow residents.
A man in his 50s, who has lived there since the complex was granted temporary occupation permit status in 2018, said he did not know the alleged murder had happened nearby as well. He did not wish to be named.
Another woman, 25, who wanted to be known only as Wong, said she had stayed in the condo for two months and was surprised this could happen to someone there.
TODAY approached the security officers at the condo entrance, but was told that the management had forbidden them from speaking to reporters. — TODAY