GEORGETOWN TOWN: A bouncer was charged yesterday with the murder of 60-year-old coffee shop worker Tan Kim Chuan, the snatch-theft victim whose tragic death, last month, evoked outrage after she was ignored by passersby as she lay unconscious near the Rifle Range flats.
CCTV footage showed her lying on the road for close to seven minutes as several people walked by without even taking a second glance. She was only rescued by two residents from the flats.
Yesterday, bouncer Ooi Kean Leong, 35, was charged at the magistrate's court with causing her death.
Northeast District OCPD ACP Gan Kong Meng said Ooi, who was arrested at a rented house in Taman Berjaya, Pulau Tikus, on Aug 8 with two others, was charged with murder.
Ooi, a bouncer in a club at Upper Penang Road, had three previous convictions for snatch-theft in 2004, 2005 and 2008, and one for illegal firearm possession in 2009.
"We arrested him based on strong circumstantial evidence shown on the CCTV footage as well as other items such as his clothes and a motorcycle seized from the house.
"Through forensic tests, we found evidence linking him to the crime though we failed to find Tan's handbag as it had allegedly been thrown into a river.
"We are certain he acted alone," he said.
Ooi, who is from Bayan Lepas, will appear again in court on Oct 2 for mention of his case.
ASP Wong Yuet Oon, who headed the task force of 30 police personnel, said he was happy that the suspect had been arrested and charged.
"It is a wonderful feeling to have completed a tedious investigation with the help of our men.
"I can assure you I was not guided by my emotions and instead used our police skills to nab the suspect.
"I am happy we have closed this case," said the seasoned police officer.
Tan was on her way to the bus stop when a motorcyclist grabbed her handbag, causing her to fall and hit her head on the road. She died about seven hours later from a cracked skull and internal bleeding in her head.
Earlier, Gan, who praised the police team, said police would recommend that Ooi's housemates -- both contract workers, aged 33 and 38 and with criminal records -- be charged soon.
"We would recommend they be charged under Section 29(1) of the Minor Offences Act for possession of criminal items and Section 15(1)(a) of the Dangerous Drugs Act after they tested positive for drugs," he said.