SINGAPORE — A man whose body was found on the east-bound track near Kallang MRT station in February last year had possibly been under the influence of drugs before he committed suicide.
In a report released on Wednesday (26 January), the State Coroner found that there was no foul play in the death of Bangladeshi Ahmed Faisal.
The 31-year-old’s body was found on the the track between Lavender and Kallang MRT – 150 metres away from Kallang MRT station – on 25 February last year. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 12.20am on 26 February.
His cause of death was certified as multiple injuries and his toxicological report showed that he had methamphetamine, amphetamine and eutylone in his body at the time of his death. Faisal, whose occupation was not mentioned in court documents, was working for a construction company.
“It was possible that Mr Faisal was under the influence of these drugs when he decided to climb the fence up to the MRT track,” said State Coroner Adam Nakhoda.
The SC noted that Faisal had exhibited unusual behaviour before his death. “I found that the evidence available points to an irresistible conclusion that Mr Faisal committed suicide. I do not think that the evidence supports, in any way, a conclusion that he had accidentally found himself on the MRT track and was subsequently hit by an MRT train.”
Faisal had been charged in court on 31 January 2019 for consuming methamphetamine and norketamine after he was arrested at a roadblock on 26 November 2018. He remained in Singapore to await the conclusion of his criminal case but was arrested again for consuming drugs six days before he was next scheduled to appear in court.
Faisal had claimed trial and his verdict fixed for 25 February 2021, but he never showed up for the hearing.
Evidence from friend and younger brother
A friend who went scootering with Faisal two to three times a month around Singapore said that on 24 February 2021, the two scootered to this friend’s home where Faisal then sat on a sofa and stared into space. He also failed to respond to the friend.
When the friend woke up, he found Faisal seated on the floor staring at a painting of a woman and mumbling to himself.
Faisal had told this friend he was depressed as he missed his family in Bangladesh and had wanted to “find a girlfriend” but was unable to do so.
Faisal’s younger brother called him in the morning of the trial verdict on 25 February. The calls went unanswered and Faisal was not in his room. When Faisal finally answered his brother’s calls, he said he was at Peace Centre and that he would show up for his court case.
The brother arrived at the State Courts but did not see Faisal. When the brother called again, Faisal claimed he would attend. However, the brother also overheard a supposedly Chinese, male voice saying, “No need to go to court.” Faisal did not show up and a warrant of arrest was issued.
While it was not determined where Faisal had been, it was likely he had returned to his condominium unit, as he had left his wallet and handphone on a roommate’s bed. He was last seen in CCTV footage leaving the unit where he resided at 7.29pm on 25 February. He was captured in the same attire he was found in when he died: a pair of blue jeans, a black shirt, and a blue jockey cap.
On the same day, Faisal’s brother called their mother, who revealed that Faisal had made a video call to his wife in Bangladesh earlier. He had spoken to his wife for an hour and according to the wife, Faisal had not expressed any unhappiness.
The brother said that Faisal had never expressed any suicidal ideations, and that they had a close relationship and would discuss any work or personal problems.
Faisal had dutifully attended all his court hearings before missing his last session. The brother added that it was unusual for Faisal to leave the unit without his handphone.
Discovery of Faisal's body
At the time of the incident, an MRT train driver was operating SMRT train service number 149 in electronic mode along the East-West Line at about 9.04pm. As the train exited the tunnel from Lavender MRT station to Kallang MRT station, the driver heard a “very loud thumping sound” coming from the train’s undercarriage. He felt the train had run over something. He applied the emergency brakes and reported the incident.
A station master was instructed to look for anything unusual on track between Lavender and Kallang MRT station.
Later, another train driver spotted a black trash bag-like item.
“(The train driver) stated that he saw something that looked like a human hand and he informed the station master of this. (The driver) thought the object looked like a body without a head,” stated findings.
The object on track was later confirmed to be a human body, and the police and paramedics were activated.
SC Nakhoda said, “It was hard to say, as Mr Faisal left no suicide note or expressed any suicidal ideations, why he chose to take his own life. It was possible that the pressure and stress of the impending verdict for this first drug consumption case was weighing on him.”
Faisal’s possible jail term, and his homesickness were so overwhelming that he could have decided to commit suicide, the SC added.
If you have thoughts of suicide or are feeling distressed, you can call SOS' 24-hour hotline at 1800 221 4444. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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