72YO Man Who Stabbed Son-In-Law To Death At Boon Tat Street Sentenced To 8 & 1/2 Years’ Jail


In 2017, an elderly man stabbed a younger man outside a Telok Ayer Street coffee shop at about 1.20pm.

CCTV footage showed the younger man running away from his attacker and collapsing outside a restaurant on Boon Tat Street.

The attacker, 72-year-old Tan Nam Seng, could be seen kicking the younger man twice in his face.

He repeatedly told passers-by not to help, saying that he deserves to die.

The younger man who was stabbed, 39-year-old Spencer Tuppani, was his son-in-law.

Sentenced To 8 & 1/2 Years’ Jail

On 21 Sep 2020, Justice Dedar Singh Gill gave the conclusion to what he calls a “tragic” case by sentencing Tan to 8 and a half years’ jail.

The prosecution had asked for a 12-year jail term for Tan, saying that the verdict of the case must be a deterrence to others against taking matters into their own hands.

Meanwhile, the defence counsel had asked for a seven and a half years’ jail term, saying that he should not be given a sentence equivalent to life imprisonment, given his life expectancy.

Tan was originally charged with murder but was found to have had major depressive disorder (MDD) after going through a psychiatric analysis.

In the report by the Institute of Mental Health (IMH), Tan’s “pervasive dysphoric state, diminished ability to concentrate, negative cognition of helplessness, as well as overwhelming ruminations and worries about the well-being of his daughters” were found to have apparently affected his mental responsibility for his actions, as well as his judgement and impulsiveness at the time.

A Brief Recap On What Happened

Tan has founded TNS shipping company back in 1974.

The business expanded into several countries as years went by and all of Tan’s daughters worked in the company.

After a series of happenings, which you can read here, Tan suspected that Tuppani was trying to wrest away control of the business.

To make it worse, Tuppani and his eldest daughter, Shyller, were not having a happy marriage.

Tuppani was allegedly cheating on her.

The couple had agreed on a divorce but frequently argued over the custody of the children.


Stressed and depressed, Tan tried to reach out to Tuppani several times but their discussions led nowhere.

On 10 July, when Tan chanced upon Tuppani having lunch with his friends, he went to his office, got a knife and went back to look for him.

After another discussion that went nowhere, Tan pulled out his knife from his bag and started stabbing Tuppani in the chest after saying he was “too much” in Hokkien.

He did not attempt to flee the scene and sat down to calmly wait for the police to arrive while he told his daughter what he has done.

For culpable homicide, Tan could be sentenced to life imprisonment. As he is over 50 years old, he will not be eligible for caning.


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