Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Perhaps, the greatest unsolved Mystery in S'pore!

Every year, a few hundred people are reported missing in Singapore. Some make themselves vanish for obvious reasons like rogue lawyer Razif, who scooted off with money belonging to his rich client...more than 12 $ million. There are countless others all with "good" reasons to abscond and hope never to be found ...especially by the law.
Then there are those who run away from home for whatever reasons...overly strict parents, harassed by loansharks, for the sheer adventure of freedom and cheap thrill, to indulge in their wrong activities like drugs, prostitution...etc.
Some missing persons may be impaired by health, age or other impairments.
The worst case scenario is that the missing person may be the victim of a crime...abduction, kidnapping, murder.

Singapore has seen its fair share of such cases. Most of those reported missing were eventually found...some without harm, others with horrid tales to tell.
Many have never been seen or heard of again.
It is as though they have simply vanished from the face of the earth without a trace! No clues, no witnesses, no evidence were left behind when they vanished.
One particular case that had witnesses, had clues and some clear leads got an entire nation mystified. It happened a long time ago at the Singapore Harbour. If I remember correctly, about 5-6 social escorts, all females, were booked by a group of foreigners whose ship was in the outer roads. The boat picked them up and delivered them to that ship for a "party" on board. Sometime in the night, that ship sailed away with all these social escorts and by dawn the next morning..the ship and the ladies have all disappeared from Singapore waters. Over many years, all kinds of reports were received about the "fate" of these ladies. The most oft repeated ones were that they have been sold as sex slaves to some middle east country.
I am certain some of my older readers would recall this case of abduction. It made headline news then and remained an unsolved mystery till this day.
None of the ladies were ever found.
However, for me personally, the most mystifying case of all is the case dubbed by the press as the " Macdonald kids". That was because Macdonald was so moved by the heart-breaking and heart-rending story of the disappearance of 2 Primary school boys, in broad daylight!
They offered a reward of $ 100,000 for information.
As far as I know, the reward has never been claimed.
What really happened in that case?
Photo: The S Times news cutting 15 June 1990
The year was 1986. The month May. The date 14.

Two close friends and classmates were last seen walking together to school.
They were both 12 years old and Primary 6 students of Owen Primary School.
Toh Hong Huat and Keh Chin Ann were just ordinary school boys who came from very humble
When I first heard the news about this case, I was emotionally affected. One of them was just living opposite my block ( my old home in T P) and I had seen him before as a little kid growing up.
School was just a short walk away. At 12.30 pm, they were last seen together. Then suddenly...never again till this day! Their books and bags were left near a tree.
NO ONE ...yes, not one soul around that spot, saw anything that could help the police to solve
the case. Kidnap? They were not rich. No ransom ever asked for.
Abduction for criminal purpose? Adrian Lim ,the infamous hanged murderer who raped, sodomised women and killed even little kids, was at that time behind bars awaiting trial.
The police posted pictures of them in public places.

The parents of the 2 boys consulted more than 30 mediums for "special" help...all to no avail.
As the years passed by, the police updated their info on what they would likely look like.
In 2004, Mediacorps covered their story in the new programme "MISSING".
If they are still alive today, Hong Huat and Chin Ann would be about 35 years old.

Read my latest updated report in Part 2 of the story...Here!


yg said...

i felt for the two boys because i was a pupil of the school (owen primary).

Unk Dicko said...

Even today,in my mind's eye, I still see them as 2 innocent kids.
It is considered one of the most puzzling mystery of our time.
We can't even classify it as a crime as no evidence pointed that direction.
Drowning? No body surfaced at all.
Mother of all Sg mystery!

Luke said...

hi unk Dicko,

i was pretty young when i heard about this way back when it happened.

heard this other story on BBC this morning. wonder if the boys would be found in the future as well?

Unk Dicko said...

Hi Luke,
Thanks for the BBC link. Over the years, there have been all kinds of wild speculations and theories about what could have happened and the fate that may have befallen the 2 boys. Some were more than mere speculations. There were unconfirmed reports that 2 Chinese-looking boys were seen on the streets of big cities in Malaysia, Thailand, India etc...horribly maimed and forced to beg.
I think all these are just that..."wild" embellishments to the mystery.
Unless they have been abducted by a UFO...someone, somewhere may know something more that can throw more light on the case.
I feel deeply for the parents and family.

Unk Dicko said...

This post by Unk Dicko has been featured in not only Yesterday SG website but on several others and some forums as well.
From the comments of some of the forummers, I believe they have not read my post carefully.
Quite a few speculated that Adrian Lim, who committed the Toa Payoh child murders of Agnes and Ghazali with two other ladies in 1981, may be responsible for the "MacDonald kids " case.
That could NEVER have happened.
Toh Hong Huat and Keh Chin Ann were missing in May 1986.
However, Adrian Lim and company were arrested and HELD IN CUSTODY in 1981 until their case was heard in the High Court on 25 May 1983.
When judgement was delivered, all 3were sentenced to hang.
They were kept in Changi prison from 1983 until 25 November 1988...the day they went to the gallows.

Anonymous said...

Just came across this article when i was reading the straits times article on 2 missing school boys at bt panjang canal yest.. hmm maybe the mac donald boys decided to end their lives? that is why they disappeared? hmm..we will never know..

Unk Dicko said...

Ending life...means suicide. Although that can be an extremely remote possibility,it is highly unlikely..in the light of their normal family life and school background.

Passerby said...

I'm particularly interested in that case of missing boys. I decide to give it a try to solve the mystery. Maybe we have a talk about it? I will be free in Jan next year to put all my efforts in solving the mystery. I reckon that the police may overlook something.

Can you leave me a email address that i am able to contact you? Thks.

Unk Dicko said...

Hi Passerby,
I'm glad you have a keen interest in this most mystifying case.
Please send me your email as a comment following this. ( Not to worry, I won't publish it here. I will delete it at once after I've noted it).
If you are on Facebook you could also send me a private Wall to Wall message. I'm in FBook under my name.

Anonymous said...


"It happened a long time ago at the Singapore Harbour. If I remember correctly, about 5-6 social escorts, all females, were booked by a group of foreigners whose ship was in the outer roads. The boat picked them up and delivered them to that ship for a "party" on board. Sometime in the night, that ship sailed away with all these social escorts and by dawn the next morning..the ship and the ladies have all disappeared from Singapore waters."

=> If you do not or have not see this yet: North Korea might have something to do with the mystery. http://www.thefreelibrary.com/CORRECTED%3A+LEAD%3A+Missing+Malaysian+women+may+be+in+N.+Korea,+families...-a0139961087

Anonymous said...


It has been suspected that the escort ladies are infact have been kidnapped by North Korea. http://www.sukuukai.jp/narkn/

Unk Dicko said...

Dear Anonymous contributor,
I would like to thank you profusely for sending me the 2 links that may eventually LEAD TO SOLVING THE SAD AND MOST HEART-RENDING ABDUCTIONS OF THESE 5 LADIES.
Readers of this blog can check my brief mention about these 5 social escorts. They were abducted in August 1978 and till today 32 years have gone by and nothing more concrete has been heard about them...that is until the recent reports by JENKINS who was a deserter from the USA military who had lived 40 years in North Korea.
Jenkins claimed to have seen one of the missing escorts in N Korea. He even provided a description of her.
For me personally, apart from the still missing and unsolved 2 "MacDonald boys" case, this case of the 5 Missing social escorts had always remained constant in my active memory.
I will do a little more research and update all on my blog with the latest news about this mystery...soon.
Thanks again to Anon.
If you have MORE info to share, I'll appreciate it greatly!
Unk Dicko

Anonymous said...

You are welcome :)
I am not even sure if the Singapore government cares about her, the family of Diana Ng Kum Yim knows about her could-be plight, or even the media knows about this since this is a very interesting story to cover... Nevertheless, I wish you good luck in your search!


Unk Dicko said...

Hi Anon,
Thanks again for the good wishes. If I remember correctly, that case made BIG headlines back in 1978. Even Interpol was involved but there were no further leads. The ship seemed to have "vanished" from the horizon. In the months and years following, several reports were cited about their being in kept as sex-slaves in the Middle East, Africa and South America.
No concrete evidence or any proof of all these rumoured sightings. I think it is very difficult in the light of this substantial lack of leads to fault the Govt or even the Police. They simply had nothing to work on.
Same as for the other reported abductions from other countries viz Macao, Lebanon, Japan, Malaysia etc.
Let's see what the M'sian side can come up with as they represent the best hope for getting some leads.
I'll check with my many contacts to see if they would like to run an update story in the press.
Thanks and Much appreciated!

Anonymous said...

Hi Unk Dicko, read thru your blog and was fascinated!

Just wondering if you have any ideas/news on the murders of 3/4 kids in Geylang Bahru area probably about 20 years back?

Unk Dicko said...

Hi Anon,
Yes...Sg has seen its fair share of unforgettable horrendous crimes which include the one you mentioned. It was so unbelievably horrific that anyone could have the heart( even an evil one) to kill those innocent kids just like that.
I have some newsclips in my archives. Will need to locate them for blogging.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone recall the murder of the four children years back? Their parents are school bus drivers. This case was never solved.

Unk Dicko said...

Well any old timers can recall?
That's why it's useful to keep some notes and clippings of certain happenings from time to time.
My archives should have something on that case that was never solved.

Kel said...

Hi Unk Dicko,

I remember when I was younger, before my Grandfather's tomb was being exhumed from LCK, the kids' tombs just lay a short distance away from my grandfather's. My mum always used to tell me about how poor thing the kids are. And it seems like they were most probably murdered by someone they knew as there was no signs of force entry in their house. I remember that the size of their tombs were very small in compare to my grandfather's hence resulting in me remembering them very vividly in the midst of vagueness.

Unk Dicko said...

Hi Kel,
Thanks for your additional insights. Btw, how old were you when you first saw their tombs at LCK?
I have gone through my personal news archives and have located some of the relevant reports and pics.
Will definitley blog about this case which hardened police detectives described as the most cruel murders they have encountered. The press and media have other terms to call it.

New Man said...

Hi, I chance upon this blog by chance. I am also interested in checking out unsolve mysteries and crimes in Singapore.

For those of you who are interested to know more about the Geylang Bahru murder of the 4 kids, you can check out the NLB straits times archives :

The murder took place in 6th Jan 1979.

New Man said...

From the NLB link that I have provided, there are other articles in the straits times from the 7th Jan 1979 onwards to about the 10th Jan 1979.

The murder took place on the 6th Jan 1979 at Blk 58 Geylang Bahru.

I look up the street directory but this building is already demolished.

Kel said...

I was probably about 7 or 8? I was not born yet when they were murdered.

Unk Dicko said...

Hi new Man,
Thanks for the info on the STimes online archives link.
As a matter of fact, readers may like to know you can actually access many of the old newspapaers going back more than 60 years or more.
Just go to the NLB online links...for more info.

Unk Dicko said...

Hi Kel,
Thanks for the update. Right now I am very busy with a number of things. When I'm less busy I will definitely do a detailed post of that particular story that intrigued you so much.

subversion.sg said...

dear sir, i am glad to have come across your blog with entries on the geylang bahru murder @ blk 58. i am interested to know more about this unsolved crime simply because i was the neighbour of those 4 kids...

i remember them but can't recall their names, all 3 brothers & 1 sister- we played freely back then, they went in & out of my residence like we were siblings. my mum ever fed them rice while we were all playing board games (snakes & ladders, et al) together, despite us being non-Chinese. the original blk 58 (not the current, new one) comprised of 1-rm rental units with a common central corridor, our doors were facing one another.

i am little peeved because channel 5 ever did a re-enactment of this tragedy in one of their info-crime programme called TRUE FILES but the details were disrespectful of the original venue. a beach rd block was used for the re-enactment which was not a common-centre-corridor version so any attempts to jog the jaded memories of witnesses was rather futile.

once again, thank you sir for the documentation here.

Unk Dicko said...

Hi subversion.sg,
Thanks for visiting and for your most valuable and insightful comment. I too missed that particular episode of True Files on tv.
But not to worry, I'll definitely be writing about that most brutal crime ...which has been sometimes dubbed as the single, most brutal and heinous crime on our history.
Do drop in again when you can...as I'll be covering many past crimes that left an unforgettable imprint in the minds of many till today.

Anonymous said...

On the case of missing Singaporean Diana Ng Kum Yim, visit http://www.sukuukai.jp/narkn/

Unk Dicko said...

Thanks again Anonymous...for the link to that website. For readers who may not know or remember much, in August 1978, 5 female social escorts working in S'pore were believed " shanghaied" ( kidnapped ) when they were engaged for a party on board a ship in our outer harbour area. The ship sailed away with them and they've never been seen again since.

Anonymous said...

In 1986, I was also 12 that was my PSLE year when the boys went missing. Such a long time, I wonder where are they.

Anonymous said...

I came across this case of the missing Singaporean Diana Ng Kum Yip and am shocked that the case remains unresolved after 37 years. I hope more people from around the world can be aware of the kidnappings conducted by the NK government and pressure them to answer for it.
This is some research that I found since its been a few years since anyone commented about the cases here:
1. United Nations Commission of Inquiry (COI) Report - N.Korea Abducted Over 200,000 Foreigners

North Korea abducted more than 200,000 foreign nationals including children since 1950, according to a UN report quoted by Marzuki Darusman, the UN special rapporteur on North Korean human rights abuses.

The 2014 Commission of Inquiry report says the North systematically kidnapped foreign nationals and has never sent them back.

Most of the 200,000 victims were South Koreans kidnapped during the Korean War and Korean Japanese who were repatriated to the North since 1959.

But the North also kidnapped hundreds of people in South Korea and Japan in the 1960s-1980s. And since the 1990s, people from China, Lebanon, Malaysia, Romania, Singapore and Thailand have fallen victim to the campaign.

They were kidnapped by North Korean soldiers and intelligence officers with the approval of their supreme leader, the report adds.

Source: http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2015/03/18/2015031801519.html

Note: The COI report indicates that 32 foreigners had been kidnapped by the NK government: 18 Japanese, 4 Lebanese, 4 Malaysians, 2 Chinese, 1 Singaporean, 1 Romanian, 1 Thai and 1 French.

Unk Dicko said...

Hi Anonymous,
Thanks for your comments and update on this ongoing mystery of kidnapped and missing persons.
I recall reading some reports and articles about this and the connection with N Korea from newspapers and other media.
Would be great if a News Documentary can be made to highlight this.

Anonymous said...

Channel 8 is currently enacting some of the unsolved cases. 9pm.
I've read the previous unsolved cases you guys been talking. Just wondering if any of you had started any investigation?