World

Man dies after quarrel over his tree

M'sia police investigate murder case linked to spat between neighbours

A 43-year-old contractor died after a quarrel over a papaya tree behind his house in Batu Gajah, Ipoh.

Choo Mun Keong, 43, collapsed from a suspected heart attack at 8.23pm on Friday after an argument with a neighbour, reported the Malay Mail.

Police have detained a 50-year-old suspect, reported The Star.

Mr Choo's wife Kok Mei Kin, 24, said the neighbour had challenged her husband to a fight. Her husband had demanded to know why the neighbour had chopped down the papaya tree.

Madam Kok said the tree was planted by her mother-in-law and it was of sentimental value to her late husband.

"But the neighbour cut it down without my husband's knowledge, claiming it was stinky," said Madam Kok, who is eight months pregnant.

"When my husband questioned the neighbour about it, he became furious."

Batu Gajah Assistant Commissioner of Police Mohd Nasri Omar said the incident occurred because the suspect was angry with the victim for using faeces as fertiliser on the papaya tree.

But Madam Kok said her husband did not use faeces as fertiliser for the papaya tree, and had used organic fertliser and drain water instead.

"Tempers flared when the suspect chopped down the tree at 11am on Feb 26," ACP Nasri said.

Later, at 8pm, both men got into a quarrel.

ACP Nasri said police received a call at 8.23pm informing them that the contractor had died.

"The suspect and the victim did not use any weapon," he said.

"A report showed that the victim fell on the floor and suffered a heart attack."

Police are investigating the case as murder pending further developments in the case.

Madam Kok's mother, Madam Loke Siew Fong, 49, said: "My daughter got married two years ago and is expecting a child soon. I don't know how she will manage without her husband."

When my husband questioned the neighbour about it, he became furious and (challenged) my husband for a fight.

- Madam Kok Mei Kin, wife of the deceased

malaysiaipohEnvironmentpapayaFIghtDeathneighbours