[size=150]Teens’ death fall: suicide[/size]
THE two teens who plunged nine floors to their deaths from a bedroom window in Bedok Reservoir area a year ago committed suicide.
State Coroner Victor Yeo made this finding after hearing all the evidence at a joint inquiry into the deaths of Ku Witaya and Sia Chan Hong, both 16.
He found that the pair from Tampines Secondary School had deliberately jumped to their deaths with the intention of ending their lives at Block 667 Jalan Damai in the early hours of Aug 23 last year.
A self-professed medium, Witaya had convinced his group of friends to join him in a suicide pact. He said they had to die to be resurrected as slayers to kill demons and save the world. The group of about seven had been going to his home every Friday since 2006 for rituals and spiritual activities.
Witaya would go into trances, which he had been performing since he was about 13. He could communicate with the gods of hell and heaven and would give his followers advice about their problems. Later, Witya formed a group called Sheng Long Fu, using his flat as a temple.
In 2007, he told the group that a world war was coming, and they had to prepare to become slayers, kill demons and save the world. About two months before the incident, he again repeated this. He told them this was their last chance to become slayers and they had no choice.
Those who were present agreed to hold hands and jump down from the rooftop of Witaya’s block on Aug 22. Two of them, then aged 12 and 16, made farewell entries in their respective diaries.
On the eve of their plan, the group met in Pasir Ris Park for a barbecue for a friend’s birthday celebration. After midnight on Aug 23, Witaya again raised the suicide topic but only one refused and left. The other seven then left with Witaya in two cabs for his home. But upon finding the rooftop entrance locked, they decided to carry out the act in Witaya’s bedroom.
There, one backed out as he thought the whole thing was a joke. Despite his pleas to Witaya not to carry out the suicide pact, Witaya was unwavering.
Coroner Yeo said what happened after the 17-year-old left was a disturbing account of which one of them would jump first as the space on the window ledge could accommodate two or three persons at the most.
After Witaya and Chan Hong had leapt from the bedroom window after counting to three, the other five changed their minds after hearing Chan Hong groaning in pain.
Witaya was pronounced dead at about 5.30am, while Chan Hong died about two hours later in hospital.
Coroner Yeo said he felt that the group’s close relationship, their group identity and peer influence and, perhaps lack of maturity, could have led them to take part in Witaya’s practices and beliefs which in turn gave them a ‘sense of purpose and meaning in life’.
‘The evidence adduced at this inquiry also revealed that Witaya was very firm about wanting to end his own life, and he was even prepared to do so,’ he added.