Kovan murders: Family of victims just wants justice

(Above, from left) Mr Tan Chee Heong's brother, brother-in-law and sister leaving the terraced house on Thursday, a day after the victims were found dead. -- ST PHOTOS: DESMOND FOO, JAMIE KOH
(Above, from left) Mr Tan Chee Heong's brother, brother-in-law and sister leaving the terraced house on Thursday, a day after the victims were found dead. -- ST PHOTOS: DESMOND FOO, JAMIE KOH
Police back outside Mr Tan Boon Sin's Hillside terraced house yesterday for further investigations. -- ST PHOTOS: DESMOND FOO, JAMIE KOH
Police back outside Mr Tan Boon Sin's Hillside terraced house yesterday for further investigations. -- ST PHOTOS: DESMOND FOO, JAMIE KOH

Family 'totally shaken' by tragedy; older victim's brother-in-law says no one knew the suspect

The family of the Kovan murder victims have only one thing on their minds right now: They want justice to be served.

Mr Ong Boon Kok, 49, who has been appointed the family spokesman, told The Sunday Times yesterday it was a shame that a police officer had been arrested for the killings.

But if suspect Iskandar Rahmat is found guilty, the family wants him to get "the full punishment he deserves".

Mr Ong, who is older victim Tan Boon Sin's brother-in-law and the uncle of younger victim Tan Chee Heong, said no one in the family knew of Iskandar and they had no explanation for his alleged actions.

It emerged yesterday, however, that the elder Mr Tan met Iskandar at least once, when he made a police report last November about a theft from his safe deposit box.

But Mr Ong, a television producer, said the family did not know of the theft and learnt of the case only from media reports.

"My brother-in-law was a person who would rather settle things on his own. He did not want to worry others," said Mr Ong.

Mr Tan Boon Sin, 67, ran a car workshop and lived with his wife, Mr Ong's elder sister, in a Hillside terrace house.

The couple have three children. The eldest was Mr Tan Chee Heong, 42, who owned an electronics products business and lived in a Sengkang flat with his wife and two sons aged 10 and four.

The younger Mr Tan's siblings Josephine and Chee Wee are in their late 30s.

What has left the family puzzled is why the younger Mr Tan went to his parents' Hillside home on Wednesday afternoon.

His mother had told him earlier that she would not be cooking dinner that day so he should not drop by.

"We do not know why he went home. If he did not, then this would not have happened to him," said an emotional Mr Ong.

He added that the tragedy had "totally shaken" the close-knit family and left his elder sister "in a very bad state".

Family members broke the news to Mr Tan Chee Heong's 10-year-old son on Friday.

Mr Ong said: "He asked me who is going to earn money to take care of the family and how is his mother coping. You can see how mature he is even though he is so young."

Mr Ong revealed that relatives heard of Iskandar's arrest only yesterday morning when the police called Mr Tan Chee Heong's sister Josephine and brother Chee Wee to go to the Criminal Investigation Department.

More than 10 family members convened for over five hours yesterday afternoon at Mr Tan Chee Heong's flat in Sengkang.

They looked drained and tearful as they left. His widow declined to comment.

ameltan@sph.com.sg