Ex-S.League player's death: Girlfriend, killer were bosses
Father of ex-S.League footballer killed in Bangkok:
He worked in a company that was owned by his alleged killer and his girlfriend of five years.
Not only were both of them Mr Sivaneswaran Ramalingam's bosses, but his girlfriend, Ms Sarah Gieghase, was also married to his alleged killer, Mr Kevin Maes.
On Saturday, the former S.League footballer was killed after a dispute with Ms Gieghase at their rented apartment in Bangkok.
The unusual relationship between Mr Sivaneswaran, Ms Gieghase and Mr Maes shocked the victim's father, Mr Ramasamy Ramalingam, 60.
This is especially after the family found out from the Thai authorities that Mr Maes and Ms Gieghase were still married to each other, he said.
Speaking to The New Paper at his home yesterday, Mr Ramasamy said: "I have read and heard so much about the problems of dating your boss. Everything tells me that it is not a good idea.
"If I had known that my son was dating his boss, and not only that, was working in the same office as the husband, I would have pulled him right out of that company."
All along, until last Saturday, he only recognised Mr Maes as his son's boss.
It was Mr Ramasamy who had encouraged his son to give up his football career to join Ms Gieghase's company.
He said: "I told him that he wasn't getting any younger, and he should join the business since he knew someone in the company."
So in late 2009, his son started working as a sales manager at IBS Beauty, a Thai beauty products company co-founded by Mr Maes and Ms Gieghase earlier that year.
Mr Maes and Ms Gieghase are Belgian nationals.
It was only after Ms Gieghase gave birth to his grandson, now aged three, that Mr Ramasamy thought it would be better for his son to find another job and avoid working in the same office.
Mr Ramasamy, who chatted regularly with his son over the phone, also revealed that his son had financial troubles due to alleged late payments of his salary.
He added that Mr Sivaneswaran was upset that Ms Gieghase, who was living with him at the time, was not receptive to his ideas for the business and their son's education.
Mr Ramasamy said: "They had an argument (on the day before his death). I told my son over the phone that whatever happens, he should not let it affect my grandson.
"I told him he should also make sure he should have cash for himself, and not rely on his credit card."
He did not know how and why Mr Maes ended up in the apartment and strangled his son while trying to subdue him.
Mr Sivaneswaran's childhood friends, Mr Isaac Chew and Mr Darrel Tan, both 29, said he had told them about Mr Maes' relationship with Ms Gieghase.
Mr Tan said: "They first met at a nail salon in 2009. When they started dating, Sarah had already separated from Kevin.
"I thought it was weird, but Siva said they were Europeans and were open-minded. He said it was normal for ex-wives to work with ex-husbands in their culture."
Mr Chew added: "(Kevin and Siva) were good friends. They would go to the gym together and even had a football team together.
"It's unthinkable that they were so friendly to each other and knew each other for more than five years, (that this could happen)."
When TNP contacted a distraught Ms Gieghase over the phone yesterday,she declined to share her side of the story.
She said: "I don't even want to talk about it. I have my story and I will keep my story with me.
"There is nothing I can say that would bring Siva back to me and my family."
Mr Maes, who was arrested by Thai police for committing grievous hurt and subsequently released on bail, could not be contacted for comment.
ABOUT THE CASE
THE NEW PAPER, YESTERDAY
There have been varying accounts of how Mr Sivaneswaran Ramalingam's domestic dispute with his girlfriend Sarah Gieghaseended in tragedy.
A Thai police officer told The New Paper on Monday that late last Friday, Mr Sivaneswaran had been violent towards Ms Gieghase during an argument.
She later told Mr Sivaneswaran's uncle, Mr Rajandran Ramasamy, that she had called her parents for help. Her parents then called Mr Kevin Maes.
According to text messages retrieved from Mr Sivaneswaran's mobile phone, Mr Maes went to the apartment at around 12.12am.
Mr Maes allegedly sent Mr Sivaneswaran a message, asking him to join him downstairs for a drink, which the family said he did.
It is not known how they ended up back in the apartment, but Mr Rajandran said it was Ms Gieghase who let Mr Maes and another friend into her home.
She claimed to have left the apartment and did not know what happened after that.
At some point, the police were called.
When officers arrived at around 2.15am, they found Mr Maes restraining Mr Sivaneswaran in a chokehold.
A Thai police officer, who declined to be named, told TNP on Monday that Mr Maes had only meant to subdue Mr Sivaneswaran, not kill him.
Mr Sivaneswaran was pronounced dead at 2.50am and Mr Maes was arrested for committing grievous hurt.
At 2.52am, Ms Gieghase called Mr Sivaneswaran's father, Mr Ramasamy Ramalingam, to inform him of his son's death.
The death certificate stated that Mr Sivaneswaran had died of cerebral anoxia, which occurs when the brain is deprived of oxygen, said his family.
His body was brought back to Singapore on Sunday and cremated on Monday.
Ms Gieghase and her son did not attend the funeral, said Mr Ramasamy.