Kuan Ah Meng
Ethnicity Chinese
Occupation Carpenter
Born ca. 1896
Penalty Found to be insane
Imprisoned at Woodbridge Hospital
Attack information
Date December 7, 1954
~10 a.m. – 10:40 a.m.
Location(s) Singapore
Killed 2
Injured 11
Weapon(s) Chisel

Kuan Ah Meng was a Chinese carpenter who killed two people and wounded eleven others in Singapore on December 7, 1954, before being arrested. He was found guilty but insane on December 4, 1956 and ordered to be held at the Woodbridge Hospital.[1][2]


A few days prior to the murders Kuan, who was employed at a shipyard,[3] wanted to loan money for his son's wedding from his friend Siew Hong Koh, a carpenter at a boat building workshop in Jellicoe Road, but Siew refused, because his own daughter was about to marry as well.[4]

On December 7, at about 10 a.m., Kuan armed himself with a chisel and a pole, killed Yor Pah Chuay and wounded Cheah Foh Mai in a house in Jalan Kuantan, before making his way to Syed Alwi Road, where he entered a house and injured See Ee Ming, as well as several others about twelve minutes later. Afterwards he went to Jellicoe Road, where he arrived at half past ten and entered Siew Hong Koh's workplace.[5] After a verbal altercation between the two, during which Siew insulted him, Kuan fatally stabbed Siew in the chest with his chisel.[4]

The 58-year-old also wounded worker Nga Jong[5] and then fled towards Townshend Road where he entered a carpenter's shop and stabbed workers Say Eng Kwan and Ong Koh Yew. On his way upstairs he encountered Yap Pooh Guan, who came down to investigate the cause of the commotion, and struck her in the left side with his chisel. He chased Yap up the stairs, but gave up when she locked herself, together with her three children, inside a bathroom, and proceeded to stab Chia Lee Eng in the arm, when she fled into her room. Subsequently he went to Kallang Road, where he injured several more.[6]

Police received the first reports about the incident at 10:40 a.m. and shortly thereafter Kuan was apprehended by a police inspector in Beach Road. Ordered to surrender he eventually discarded his weapons, and was taken into custody. In total he had killed two people and wounded six men, four women, and a 6-year-old girl, all of them Chinese. Of the injured eight were taken to the General Hospital, several of them in serious condition, while three others were treated as outpatients.[7]


  • Siew Hong Koh, 51
  • Yor Pah Chuay, 56

Those wounded were:

  • Cheah Foh Mai
  • Chew Lee Mui
  • Chia Lee Eng
  • Lim Peng Eng, 6.
  • Nga Jong
  • Ong Koh Yew, 55
  • Say Eng Kwan, 18
  • See Ee Ming
  • Tsiang Lian Mei
  • Wong Ah Chong
  • Yap Pooh Guan


Kuan was arraigned at the Singapore Eighth Police Court on December 8, where he was charged with two counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder and afterwards sent to Woodbridge Hospital for observation.[5] He appeared again in court on December 22 and was remanded to the Woodbridge Hospital pending the Colonial Secretary's order.[8]

Preliminary hearings for the case started on October 15, 1956, during which Dr. H. H. Robinson of Woodbridge Hospital testified that Kuan had suffered from mental illness at the time of the murders.[4] On December 4 the same year he was found guilty but insane and sent back to Woodbridge Hospital pending the order of the Chief Secretary.[9]


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