Data page missing from dead man's passport

Mr Jack Sim holding up his late son Leonard's passport, which had the page with his biometric data cleanly cut out. The younger Mr Sim's friend discovered that the page was missing at the accident site.
Mr Jack Sim holding up his late son Leonard's passport, which had the page with his biometric data cleanly cut out. The younger Mr Sim's friend discovered that the page was missing at the accident site.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

The family of a national softball player who died in an accident in Malaysia last week suspect that a page in his passport with key personal information might have been stolen. They worry that it might be used for unlawful purposes.

Leonard Sim, 26, who represented Singapore in softball at the SEA Games in 2007 and 2011, died in an accident on the North-South Expressway near Kluang in the early hours of Sept 13. He had been riding a motorcycle on his way to Singapore from Penang.

His father Jack Sim, 62, who is in between jobs and was previously a manager, yesterday showed The Straits Times his son's passport, which had the first page with information that is scanned at immigration checkpoints cleanly cut out.

He said: "We are concerned that his biometric data is used for terrorism and unlawful purposes."

The younger Mr Sim, a softball coach, was travelling with his friend and fellow motorcyclist Lee Ren Yuan, 24, when the accident took place at around 3.45am.

 

Mr Lee, a sales executive, told The Straits Times that Mr Sim was travelling behind him and the road ahead was clear. But Mr Lee later felt "a huge impact from behind". He rolled onto the ground and felt a car going past him.

After he picked himself up, he found his friend lying face down and breathing heavily.

Mr Lee said he looked around for a passer-by to call an ambulance. After he found someone, he went back to check on his friend, and found him still gasping for breath.

Mr Lee then looked around for his phone, and found it smashed up. He went back to check on his friend and but could not hear any breathing from him.

He went around looking for people to borrow a phone to call his friends and Mr Sim's family. He continued to check on Mr Sim intermittently, and noticed on one occasion that his friend was lying face-up but did not think too much of it then.

After walking a few metres further away from Mr Sim, however, he noticed a red passport on the ground and picked it up.

The police arrived later and asked to see Mr Sim's passport. Mr Lee took out a passport and checked to see if it was Mr Sim's. It was only then that he realised the first page of Mr Sim's passport was missing.

Mr Jack Sim said he has made a report to Malaysian and Singapore police about the matter.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 22, 2016, with the headline 'Data page missing from dead man's passport'. Print Edition | Subscribe