Father's search for justice after son killed in Bangkok
Father, friends of former S.League player who died in Bangkok will engage Thai lawyer
He has been to Bangkok twice since his son was killed there last month.
And private bus driver Ramasamy Ramalingam, 60, will soon go there for a third time to engage a lawyer to help him get justice.
He and his son's friends want to know how former S.League player Sivaneswaran Ramalingam, 28, could be killed in a chokehold and what led to the deadly altercation.
Mr Sivaneswaran was killed on May 28 after a dispute with his Belgian live-in girlfriend of five years, Ms Sarah Gieghase.
The incident took place in the apartment they shared with their three-year-old son.
Mr Sivaneswaran's alleged killer is believed to be Ms Gieghase's ex-husband, Mr Kevin Maes, who is also a Belgian.
Mr Ramasamy first went to Bangkok on May 28 to bring his son's body back to Singapore.
It arrived here the next day and was cremated on May 30.
Mr Ramasamy went to Bangkok again on June 2 with his son's friends - Mr Isaac Chew, Mr Ashley Ow and Mr Darrel Tan - to look for answers.
But it was not an easy task, especially due to the language barrier.
They met the Thai police, but Mr Ow, 30, said they did not share any new information.
They managed to meet the security guard who was on duty during the incident at Mr Sivaneswaran's condominium, Vista Garden in Sukhumvit.
Together, they watched closed-circuit television footage of the first-storey lobby during the incident.
Mr Chew, 29, who works in property development, told The New Paper on Monday that according to the clip, Mr Sivaneswaran was last seen alive at around 7.25pm on May 27.
He was seen entering a lift with Ms Gieghase and their son after a swim.
Shortly after midnight, the footage showed Mr Maes at the lobby.
He goes upstairs with another man who had arrived minutes later.
Mr Chew said: "At 1.20am, Sarah went downstairs. She looked frantic and appeared to be in tears when she spoke to the guard.
"When we spoke to the guard, he said Sarah told him Siva was armed. She went back upstairs and the guard called the police. Officers arrived at 1.30am."
He said the guard told them he went to the unit with the police and saw Mr Sivaneswaran lying face down on the ground.
He added: "The guard saw Kevin's knee was on Siva's upper back and he had him in a chokehold.
"Kevin's friend was holding Siva's left arm against his back and his other hand was holding Siva's legs."
According to the guard, a policeman shoved Mr Maes away, but Mr Sivaneswaran was already unconscious.
He was pronounced dead at 2.50am.
Mr Ramasamy said they did not meet Ms Gieghase and his grandson.
The pair also had not gone to Mr Sivaneswaran's funeral on May 30.
Mr Ramasamy added: "I miss my grandson. Since my son's death, she hasn't called and I also didn't try to call her as I don't think it will serve any purpose.
"An innocent soul is gone. We will be fighting for justice all the way till the end."
Mr Ow who is a former Young Lions player, said they did not get to meet Mr Maes either.
He said: "I've received about four messages from Kevin saying he could not talk about the matter. He told me to talk to his lawyer instead."
The four of them left Thailand on June 4.
The group decided to engage a Thai lawyer to help them with their case. Mr Chew has set up a fund-raising profile on generosity.com to raise US$22,000 (S$30,000).
Most of the money will be used for the lawyer's fees.
On Monday, a Thai police officer told TNP Mr Maes is still out on bail and declined to give any more details.
- Additional reporting by Max Pasakorn
Wife so upset, he had to keep eye on her
It has been an emotionally draining episode for him and his wife since their son, former S.League player Sivaneswaran Ramalingam, 28, was killed in Bangkok on May 28.
Speaking to The New Paper on Monday, private bus driver Ramasamy Ramalingam, 60, said that since the tragedy, he has spent more than $15,000, including the cost of transporting his son's body from the Thai capital to Singapore.
Mr Ramasamy earns about $3,000 a month.
On June 13, one of his son's friends, Mr Isaac Chew, 29, set up a fund-raising profile on generosity.com to raise US$22,000 (S$30,000) for the family.
Mr Ramasamy welcomed this gesture and told TNP he was so shaken by the tragedy, he found it difficult to return to work. He only started working again yesterday.
He said: "I need to concentrate when I drive the bus. But I could not concentrate at all since Siva's death.
"My wife, who is a housewife, has taken news of the death very badly. She is always mumbling to herself and seems to be in a daze. I had to keep an eye on her at home. Things have improved slightly now."
The couple have three other sons aged between 24 and 32 years old.
When asked why he did not ask them for financial assistance, he said his two older sons have their own families to support.
One has three children. The other got married this year and just bought a new flat.
Mr Ramasamy added: "My youngest son is still serving his national service. So money can be quite tight for all of us."
Mr Chew, who works in property development, said US$22,000 was a conservative amount.
The bulk of it will be used to pay a Thai lawyer they will engage soon.
He said: "We have to pay the lawyer $4,000 as a deposit and she can cost us between $450 and $600 an hour. So it's not cheap. But all of us want justice for Siva."
They aim to raise the funds by July 13, which would have been Mr Sivaneswaran's 29th birthday.
As of about 10.30pm yesterday, 67 donors had contributed $4,371.