Cleaner, who killed supervisor during quarrel, gets life in jail
The Malaysian, 27, stole jewellery from his victim, dumped her body in a drain and fled across Causeway
Barely a month into his new job at Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, a 27-year-old Malaysian cleaner had an argument with his supervisor, stabbed her with a pair of grass cutters, and bludgeoned her as she pleaded for mercy.
Ahmad Muin Yaacob then stole the gold Madam Maimumah Awang, 54, was wearing, hid her body in a drain and fled across the Causeway to Malaysia where he pawned the jewellery, partly to pay for his wedding in Kelantan two weeks later.
Yesterday, Ahmad Muin was sentenced to 18 strokes of the cane and life imprisonment.
In a courtroom filled with Madam Maimumah's family members, the court heard that during the altercation on Nov 24, 2016, Ahmad Muin was alone in a store room with her when he attacked her, thrusting the blades of the grass cutters into her chest.
She fell and pleaded with him not to harm or kill her. She tried to get up but he repeatedly hit her head with the grass cutters.
He then pulled her body to a 1.8m drain outside, removed the drain covers, pushed her in and closed the covers.
After taking her jewellery and phone, he took a taxi to Woodlands Checkpoint, where he took a bus to Johor.
He went ahead with his wedding on Dec 9, 2016.
Nine days later, he was arrested by Malaysian police and handed over to the Singapore police the next day at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
He was arrested upon arrival in Singapore later that day.
Yesterday, Ahmad Muin chose not to testify in his defence.
Justice Aedit Abdullah convicted him of a reduced murder charge under Section 300(c) of the Penal Code, which carries either life imprisonment or the death penalty.
Deputy public prosecutors Kumaresan Gohulabalan and Selene Yap argued that Ahmad Muin should face 24 strokes of the cane owing to the aggravating factors of the "extent of the brutality", the lack of remorse and the deliberate step to conceal the body.
LACK OF PREMADITATION
However, his lawyers Johannes Hadi and Eugene Thuraisingam argued for 12 strokes, citing the lack of premeditation in the attack, that it was provoked by a brief argument in which Madam Maimumah called Ahmad Muin's family "bodoh" (Malay for stupid).
Speaking to The Straits Times after the court proceedings, one of Madam Maimumah's three daughters, Ms Suminah Sukardi, 35, who works as an administrator in a transport company, said the initial stage of losing their mother was very tough on the family.
Her sister Norhayati Sukardi, 34, an administrator in a cake shop, said while she was expecting a slightly harsher punishment, she is all right with the outcome.
She said: "My mum is already resting in peace whatever the sentence is. She cannot come back to life."