Death Penalty Watch – Ong Pang Siew, 46, Singapore

13 Mar

The Singapore Straits Times and TODAY online has reported that a man named Ong Pang Siew , 46, has been found guilty of murdering his 15 year old step daugher, Ong Pan Hui by the High Court today (13 March).

According to the news reports, the bus driver had arrived at the apartment of Mdm Xiu Yanhong of whom he had recently divorced, on the evening of 20 October 2007, after some drinks.

When he went into the apartment, he entered into an argument with his step daughter. TODAY reported that he had accused her of mistreating his son (both of whom are under Madam Xiu’s custody) by threatening her stepbrother with the cane. According to the Straits Times report, he started strangling her stepdaughter, prompting one of the tenants, who was at the apartment, to call Madam Xiu, who then proceeded to inform the police. Ong was arrested on the spot and the girl was confirmed dead by the time the paramedics arrived.

According to both news sources, the prosecutors argued that the man had every intention to kill his stepdaughter. The Deputy Public Prosecutor Amarjit Singh, on Straits Times, stated that ‘Ong clearly intended to kill Pan Hui to get back at his ex-wife for abandoning him and making it difficult for him to see his son’. This was a similar comment reported on TODAY but made by what we can assume, as the other Deputy Public Prosecutor on this case, Diane Tan.

However, there is no mention in the report of whether the judges had considered if he was unduly under the influence of alcohol prior to arriving at the crime scene. Moreover, the ‘intention’ to kill her stepdaughter is shaky given his rage (if any) should be more likely directed at Madam Xiu rather than the stepdaughter herself who appears to be only targeted because the mother was not around. Given the skimpy account, it is difficult to truly assess  if Ong was intent on killing his stepdaughter.

The man has been sentenced by the High Court to death and Madam Xiu was quoted that if Ong is not given the death sentence, ‘I’ll feel injustice for my daughter’.

TODAY reports that the counsel for Ong is ‘likely’ to file an appeal.

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