Singapore

DPP tells murder trial: Accused repaid supervisor's kindness in blood

Malaysian cleaner on trial for murder of his female supervisor

Cleaning supervisor Maimunah Awang, who worked at the Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, was kind to her subordinates, and even allowed a cleaner to sleep in the storeroom despite knowing that it was against the rules.

Cleaner Ahmad Muin Yaacob, 26, now stands accused of brutally murdering the 54-year-old widow. If convicted, the Malaysian faces the death penalty.

"The accused repaid her kindness in blood," Deputy Public Prosecutor Mohamed Faizal Mohamed Abdul Kadir told the High Court yesterday as he set out the case against Ahmad Muin.

On Nov 24, 2016, in the cramped storeroom, the cleaner stabbed Madam Maimunah with a pair of grass cutters and bludgeoned her on the head until she stopped moving.

He then removed her gold jewellery before dumping her body in a deep drain nearby.

He made a quick getaway to Malaysia, where he pawned the jewellery and proceeded with his scheduled wedding on Dec 9, 2016.

He sold one bracelet for RM1,000 (S$330) in Johor before arriving home in Pasir Puteh, Kelantan, where he pawned two necklaces and another bracelet for RM7,500.

Ahmad Muin set aside RM6,000 for the dowry and used some money to gamble. He later sold the pawn ticket to another pawnshop for RM1,054 and used part of the proceeds for his wedding expenses.

He was apprehended by Malaysian police on Dec 18, 2016, and handed over to the Singapore police the next day.

He was arrested upon arrival in Singapore later that day.

The prosecution's case is that Ahmad Muin needed money to finance his wedding and that he had seized the opportunity to prey on a defenceless woman.

The court heard that Madam Maimunah wore gold jewellery every day, even at work. Her boss, Mr Roslan Tamain, testified that she wore necklaces, bangles and anklets, as well as rings on all fingers.

TEMPORARY WORK PERMIT

Ahmad Muin was employed as a cleaner on a temporary work permit and started work in late October 2016 at a monthly salary of $1,100.

On Nov 8, 2016, Mr Roslan told the accused that he would be terminating his employment to cut costs.

He said Ahmad Muin had told him that he needed money for his wedding and asked to continue working until he found another job.

Mr Roslan said he gave $400 in salary to the accused on Nov 22, 2016, and said he would give him the remaining $100 the next day.

He also told Ahmad Muin to stop working at the terminal.

DPP Mohamed Faizal said that while the accused was alone with Madam Maimunah in the storeroom on Nov 24, he attacked her, thrusting the blades of the grass cutters into her chest and also using it to repeatedly hit her head.

He took her jewellery and dumped her body in a drain outside, and he then took a taxi to Woodlands Checkpoint, where he got on a bus to Johor.

A report from the Institute of Mental Health said the accused has no major mental illness.

Ahmad Muin is defended by Mr Hassan Esa Almenoar and Mr Rajan Supramaniam. They will be relying on psychiatric evidence in his defence.

The trial continues on Sept 25.

COURT & CRIME