Former RI teacher missing in Tioman: Police find a body

The Malaysian police have found the body of a Chinese man off Tioman Island, more than a week after former Raffles Institution (RI) discipline master Tan Kim Cheng went missing there.

Search teams in scuba gear made the find on Wednesday morning, said Tioman police chief Awang Fatiah Haji Zulkifli, who added that it took three hours to retrieve the body.

"He was lodged in the cracks between some rocks, pretty deep. It took us a long time to retrieve it," he told The Straits Times.

The body has not been identified yet.

Mr Tan, 83, arrived on the island on a cruise on April 13. He left the ship for an excursion and never returned.

Sergeant Awang said the highly decomposed body was found near where search teams had discovered Mr Tan's bag.

He added that "the current and waves must have carried the body away and brought it back".

Mr Tan's elder son was rushing to Kuantan with medical records to help identify the body, said Sgt Awang.

The body is being kept there, and DNA tests will be done.

From 1963 to 1987, Mr Tan taught the humanities at RI and was in charge of its National Cadet Corps.

Since news broke that he had gone missing, good wishes have poured in on Facebook from his former students.

Senior Minister of State for Law and Education Indranee Rajah had studied for her A levels at RI from 1980 to 1981, and remembers Mr Tan fondly.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, she wrote that she had met Mr Tan a few weeks ago at an event and was struck by his "vitality and energy".

"He was an unmistakable figure on campus and one of the coolest teachers around," she wrote.

dansonc@sph.com.sg

Additional reporting by Nur Asyqin Mohamad Salleh