Ong Kok
Occupation Rubber planter
Born ca. 1896

September 11, 1930(1930-09-11) (aged 34)
Tampines, Singapore

Cause of death Suicide
Attack information
Date September 11, 1930
9 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Location(s) Tampines, Singapore
Target(s) Family
Killed 6
Injured 2
Weapon(s) Axe
Bare hands

Ong Kok was a Chinese rubber planter who killed six members of his family and wounded two others in Tampines, Singapore on September 11, 1930, before committing suicide.[1][2][3][4][5]


Ong Kok originated from China,[6] but at the time of the murders had lived in Singapore for about twelve years.[7] Some time prior to the murders he and his family moved into an attap dwelling located near Tampines Road in Tampines, where he owned a small rubber estate.[8]

Ong was severely affected by a collapse of rubber prices due to overproduction,[9] which forced him to borrow $7,000 from a chetty about three months prior to the murders.[7] In the days leading up to September 11 he complained to a neighbour about his bad situation and the Dutch government's refusal to support the restriction of rubber crops, and furthermore related that he would like to flee Singapore, but had to consider his large family.[8][10]

Ong's neighbours described him as a very quiet man, who was well-liked and respected in the community,[6] and according to his son Bow he was a good father, was very fond of his children, and never quarreled with his wife.[7]


On September 11, at around 9 p.m., Ong's family went to bed, while he lay on a lounge smoking a pipe and mumbling to himself about his dire economic situation. When the others had fallen asleep shortly thereafter he bolted the door and windows, grabbed a heavy axe, and attacked his wife and children, hitting all of them on the head but his infant daughter, whom he grabbed by the legs and dashed to death. His son Bow awoke when struck and rushed to the front room, where he witnessed the acts of his father and lost consciousness moments later. Meanwhile Ong poured paraffin oil throughout the house and set fire, before sitting down on an oil-soaked pile of crepe rubber in the kitchen where he committed suicide by cutting his own throat with a butcher's knife.[7][8][11]

The fire was discovered by a neighbour at around 10 p.m. when she was alerted by the cries of a child. She raised an alarm and more neighbours rushed to the scene to extinguish the flames. Finding the door locked they eventually forced their entry into the building by prying a hole into a wall, and discovered Ong's victims, with five of the children lying in a heap. By that time two of them were already dead, the infant girl, who lay with a fractured skull near her mother, and Ong Bee, who was killed by three blows to the head.[6][7]

The wounded were soon taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, where Ong Pong died about 20 minutes later of a fractured skull and other injuries. The others were then transferred to General Hospital. Ong's wife and Ong Eng died the following morning, while Ong Chwee died during midnight on September 13 of six head wounds. The other two children were in critical condition, but managed to survive.[7][8][11]


  • Mrs. Ong, ~40, his wife
  • Ong Eng, 14, his daughter
  • Ong Bee, 11, his son
  • Ong Pong, 10, his daughter
  • Ong Chwee, 5, his daughter
  • Unnamed girl, 5 months, his daughter

Wounded were his son Ong Bow, 12, and his daughter Ong Peng, 7.


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