Netizen Says Father Taking Daughter’s Life Was A Clash Of Mental Illness & Caregiver’s Devotion

On Monday (12 Oct), Mr Tan Tian Chye, a man who took his own daughter’s life, was allowed to walk free a day after he was sentenced.

Father Who Took Daughter’s Life Has Jail Term Backdated 2 Years, He’s Now A Free Man

While many murder cases might involve dark plots or sinister motives, this was a heartbreaking tale of a father who was pushed to his limits by his mentally-ill daughter he was looking after.

On Tuesday (13 Oct), Mr Michael Han, a director at a local law firm, took to Facebook to share his thoughts on the case.

In particular, Mr Han wrote that the case involves a father who loved his daughter wholeheartedly but did what he did as he was “cornered by circumstances”.

A portion of the post

You can read his post in full here.

‘Last straw’ came before father could get help

Describing the sentencing as a case where “justice rightly took the road less travelled”, Mr Han noted that the murder was an unfortunate case where the deceased’s mental illness and her caregiver’s dedication collided.

The Supreme Court of Singapore

However, the law firm director felt that the tragedy could have been avoided, should the family have received the necessary support in time.

One roadblock to this coming to fruition, as Mr Han identified, is social stigma. There may of course, have been other factors which came into play.

Hence, Mr Han felt that parents living in a conservative society like Singapore would not seek such external help unless it is the “last resort”.

In this tragic case, the ‘last straw’ which caused the father to ‘break’ apparently happened too soon. In particular, before the parties involved identified that their situation was one which required the ‘last resort’.

Unable to hold on to full-time job after graduation

If you’re not familiar with the case, here’s a lowdown of the events that led to the unfortunate incident.

Man Who Took Daughter’s Life Was “Loving & Selfless”, Sacrificed His Needs To Meet Her Demands

According to Channel NewsAsia (CNA), the deceased first suffered panic attacks and anxiety back in 2012.

Despite reportedly graduating from university in 2006, she couldn’t secure a full-time job and relied on her parents’ support.

While caring for her, they had to endure scoldings which apparently worsened in mid-2018. Later that year, Ms Tan was diagnosed with anxiety disorder but refused treatment.

Daughter grew more demanding with time

As time passed, Ms Tan became even more demanding.

She allegedly asked her father to reclaim $50,000 used to fund her brother’s education so she could apply for a Build-To-Order (BTO) flat with her boyfriend.

BTO flat in Tengah, for illustration purposes only 

The 35-year-old also scolded her parents with vulgarities constantly, and even made them bow before her.

The ‘last straw’ came on 19 Nov 2018 when Ms Tan threatened to kill her father with a fork. reports CNA.

Upon reaching home, Ms Tan reportedly grabbed a knife and pointed it at her father.

In defence, the father hit his daughter with a metal pole until she fell before strangling her with a towel.

Mr Tan later called the police to report his daughter’s death.

Father who took daughter’s life walks free

On Monday (11 Oct), Mr Tan was sentenced to 2 years and 9 months in jail for taking his daughter’s life.

However, he was allowed to walk free a day later, after the court backdated his sentence from when he was first taken into custody.


A few months of his sentence also appear to have been shaved off due to good behaviour.

In passing the sentence, the judge said that Mr Tan has been a “selfless, loving, and devoted father”.

Mental health issues are extremely serious

The case in question goes to show how important mental health issues are, and how severe they can be if left unsolved.

If you know someone who’s currently facing stress or mental issues, here are some avenues where they can seek help and support:

  • IMH’s Mental Health Helpline — 6389-2222
  • National Care Hotline —  1800-202-6868
  • Samaritans of Singapore — 1800-221-4444
  • Silver Ribbon Singapore — 6385-3714

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Featured image adapted from Facebook and Wikipedia.