M'sian man charged with firearm possession after 38 years on the run

A man who was on the run for 38 years in connection with alleged possession of a firearm in Singapore appeared in a court here yesterday after being arrested in Malaysia last week.

If convicted, Seow Lam Seng, a Malaysian who is now 63 years old, faces life imprisonment.

He was arrested by Malaysian police in Penang last Thursday and transferred here two days later.

In a statement on Sunday, the Singapore Police Force said that on Oct 3, 1980, two officers spotted Seow and another man known as Lee Ah Fatt behaving suspiciously at a staircase next to Sin Po Po Bar in Tanjong Katong Road at around 2.30pm.

The officers decided to check on the two men.

It was alleged that Seow was carrying a pistol, which was strapped to his waist, while Lee had a similar weapon in his back pocket.

The police statement said Lee "had allegedly drawn his pistol from his back trouser pocket and pointed it at the officers, resulting in one of them drawing his service revolver to shoot at him".

But Lee, despite being shot, was believed to have continued to struggle with the two police officers and, during the commotion, Seow managed to flee the scene.

Lee eventually succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital.

The police said they had regularly reviewed the case in an attempt to locate Seow.

Those convicted of being unlawfully in possession of a firearm can, other than be jailed for life, also be sentenced to at least six strokes of the cane.

But Seow cannot be caned as he is above 50 years old. He is remanded at Central Police Division and will be back in court on April 2.