Elder victim's wife remembers with pain

A depiction of Iskandar Rahmat on trial yesterday for the gruesome Kovan double murder of two years ago, drawn by The Straits Times' Miel.
A depiction of Iskandar Rahmat on trial yesterday for the gruesome Kovan double murder of two years ago, drawn by The Straits Times' Miel.

When she was testifying against the man accused of murdering her husband and elder son, housewife Ong Ah Tang hardly showed any emotion, easily recounting the chain of events surrounding the shocking killings.

It was when she was asked to describe her husband of 43 years that her voice started to shake, giving a glimpse into the pain she felt.

Speaking through a Mandarin interpreter, Madam Ong said Mr Tan Boon Sin was honest and optimistic, loved his family, was a helpful person and had a passion for fishing. He never used violence even when they quarrelled, she emphasised at least twice.

He was "someone I can entrust my life with", she said.

In her statement, which was read out in court by the prosecution, Madam Ong recounted how she returned home at 4.55pm on July 10, 2013, only to find blood outside her house.

An ambulance and the car of her elder son, Chee Heong, were parked outside the three-storey terraced house that she had been sharing with her husband since 2003 after their three children - two sons and a daughter - moved out after getting married.

Worried that her husband could have hurt himself in a fall, she took out her mobile phone to call her elder son. It was then that she realised she had missed a call from her husband at 3.18pm.

When her son did not answer his phone, Madam Ong called her daughter-in-law, who also tried to reach him, to no avail.

It was only two hours later that Madam Ong found out that both her husband and son were dead.

She also told the court that she and her husband had two safe deposit boxes with Certis Cisco to keep jewellery and old bank notes.

She also recalled how in 2012, after Mr Tan read news about a spate of thefts from safe deposit boxes, he decided to check their safe deposit boxes with Certis Cisco.

He found out that some of his money was missing, and lodged two police reports in November 2012.

It was these reports that linked her husband to his killer, policeman Iskandar Rahmat, who was initially assigned to investigate the theft.

Selina Lum

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 21, 2015, with the headline 'Elder victim's wife remembers with pain'. Print Edition | Subscribe