PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A Malaysian restaurant owner in New York has died after a vicious racist attack last Tuesday (Jan 15).
Wisma Putra confirmed that Mr Ng Tan Kheong was pronounced dead by hospital authorities in New York at about 4pm last Friday (Jan 18).
"The New York police confirmed that the victim died at the hospital due to serious injuries," a Wisma Putra official said when contacted on Sunday.
"The authorities there also managed to contact a relative of the deceased and the family will make the necessary arrangements for the body to be brought back to Malaysia."
It was reported that Mr Ng, 60, and two other workers were viciously attacked by a man armed with a hammer at Mr Ng's seafood buffet restaurant located in Emmons Avenue, Brooklyn, at about 5pm that day, when the eatery was packed with customers.
The attack left Mr Ng brain dead. Chef Fufai Pun, 34, died from his injuries while restaurant manager Tsz Mat Pun, 50, is in critical condition.
It was reported that the suspect, identified as 34-year-old Arthur Martunovich, burst into the restaurant and began bashing Mr Ng and his staff on their heads with a hammer.
Martunovich, who was arrested shortly after the attack, reportedly told police that he was inspired to carry out the attack by a Chinese movie he had watched in which "men were mistreating women".
The Wisma Putra official said the New York Police Department was investigating the case and would liaise with the Malaysia consular office if necessary.
It is learnt that there was difficulty in locating the dead man's immediate family in Malaysia, as he was separated from his wife and was childless.
Earlier attempts by the authorities here to contact his next of kin at his last known address in Pulai, Johor, proved futile.
Martunovich has been charged with murder, attempted murder and criminal possession of a weapon, and is expected to undergo psychiatric evaluation.
The suspect is said to be a construction worker who emigrated from Estonia to the United States as a teenager.