S'pore wife of man charged with murder in M'sia: We're the victims
My family are not murderers but the real victims.
That was what Madam Guo Shu Lan, 52, told The New Paper after her husband and son were arrested and charged with murder, following the death of an alleged robber who broke into a single-storey house they were staying at in the Malaysian state of Negeri Sembilan.
If found guilty, the accused could face the death penalty for the murder of Mr Chen Wen Bao on Feb 24.
But Madam Guo, who was slashed by Mr Chen and needed 25 stitches, said her Malaysian husband, Mo Yi Hong, 57, and their son, Mo Wei Qiang, 29, had beaten up the alleged robber in self-defence.
The Singaporean said in Mandarin: "We were being robbed, I was being attacked and they defended me.
"Now they are accused of murder. Where is the justice?"
Madam Guo, who works as a promoter here, said her husband, a Singapore permanent resident and part-time chef, had lived and worked here for almost 30 years.
Wei Qiang, a Singaporean who used to work as a sales consultant here, is in between jobs.
The couple, their son and 26-year-old daughter had returned to Yi Hong's hometown of Seremban on Feb 16 to celebrate Chinese New Year.
It was the family's annual ritual to visit friends and relatives, Madam Guo said.
At about 12.30am on Feb 24, Madam Guo and her husband returned to the house after buying supper.
Unknown to them, Mr Chen and an accomplice had earlier entered the house.
Madam Guo said that after alighting from the car, she made her way to the front door. Just as she was about to enter the house, a masked figure came out and grabbed her sling bag.
"I held on and refused to give my bag to him while screaming for my husband to come to my aid," she said, adding that the intruder became alarmed and slashed her arm with a parang.
"It was dark and I didn't even realise that it was a parang. I thought he was hitting me with something hard.
"Eventually my husband caught up and threw a stone at the robber."
Wei Qiang, who was awoken by his mother's cries, dashed out of his bedroom and went to his parents' aid, Madam Guo said.
Neighbours who heard her screams also ran to the house.
"My husband picked up a water pipe to fight the robber," Madam Guo added.
"My son grabbed him while my husband helped subdue him. Our neighbour suggested that we tie him up with a rope, so we did and left him outside the house.
"He was still conscious and able to talk, even though we couldn't really understand what he was saying."
The accomplice fled during the fracas.
The couple then drove to a nearby clinic to seek treatment for Madam Guo, whose injured arm was bleeding profusely.
Meanwhile, their children went back into the house to rest and wait for the police.
Just as they drove onto the main road, the couple spotted a group of passers-by.
Madam Guo said: "We called out to the men to help us keep an eye on the robber who was tied up.
"They said okay and rushed to the house."
She suspected that the men could have beaten Mr Chen in her and her husband's absence.
When asked whether she or her brother had heard anything while their parents were away, the daughter told TNP that they had heard a lot of noise outside but could not make out what it was about. They did not go out to check.
Madam Guo said her husband found out that Mr Chen had died only when he returned to the house about 15 minutes later to get his mobile phone to take pictures of her injuries for insurance claims.
Mr Chen was found dead, lying on the ground with his hands and legs tied up with rope.
It is not clear how he died, reported Malaysian Chinese newspaper Nanyang Siang Pau.
The police found a 45cm-long parang, two stones and broken pieces of a plastic water pipe, said the newspaper.
The father and son were arrested by police and charged with murder on Tuesday.
Madam Guo said: "When we left the robber, he was still alive and talking. Fifteen minutes after we left him, he's dead.
"How could it be that my husband and son murdered him?"
She called for witnesses who saw what happened to Mr Chen to step forward.
Mo and his son have pleaded not guilty and their case will be heard again on April 30.
We were being robbed, I was being attacked and they defended me. Now they are accused of murder. Where is the justice?
- Madam Guo Shu Lan
When we left the robber, he was still alive and talking. Fifteen minutes after we left him, he's dead. How could it be that my husband and son murdered him?
- Madam Guo Shu Lan
'Murderer? It's just not possible'
When Mo Wei Qiang's friends heard he had been arrested for murder, they dismissed it as a joke.
"That's because he's a joker and a fun-loving person. We thought it was another prank he was trying to pull on us," said his close friend, 28-year-old sales consultant Jaronson Tey.
He was deeply shocked and troubled when he found out the news was true.
"How could it be that he is a murderer? It's just not possible," Mr Tey told The New Paper yesterday, adding that Mo is someone who never hesitated to help others.
"He's not the kind to kill people. He wouldn't even harm an animal.
"Sometimes when we go for drinks and there are fights, he would always be the one trying to stop them."
Another friend of Mo, 35-year-old sales consultant Jasmine Sim, described him as a kind and gentle person.
She said she and some of Mo's other friends are planning to raise money for his family as they prepare for a legal battle in court.
"We are planning to travel to Malaysia for the next trial on April 30. We hope that our presence will comfort Wei Qiang, and show that we support and care for him," she said.
Netizens in Malaysia have taken to social media to defend the actions of Mo and his father.
Mr Adam Malik Masidi wrote on Facebook: "You can't even defend yourself when robbers enter your house. So you should just wait until they kill you?"
Mr Alan Boey wrote: "When a robber enters your house, please accept him with a warm welcome and nice food. Tell the robber where you keep all the money."