SINGAPORE - Around 100 villagers in the small town of Air Kuning, Negeri Sembilan, had rallied behind a father and son who are facing murder charges for allegedly killing a robber in self-defence, reported Chinese-language newspapers.
They had planned to organise a protest at 5.30pm on Friday in support of Moo He Hong, 59, and his son Moo Wee Keong, 29. But the protest had to be called off at the last minute as the protest organisers did not apply for a police permit, reported Shin Min Daily News.
Out of close to 600 villagers, more than 100 had wanted to attend the protest rally, said Mr Lee Jun Ming, the protest organiser.
"We are outraged by the injustice. They are victims, but now they are being charged for murder. It's not logical," he told Shin Min Daily News.
The father and son were charged in a Malaysian court on Wednesday with the murder of Chan Boon Poh, 42. Both have pleaded not guilty.
Chan had alleged tried to rob Moo's wife, Madam Kuek Soo Lan, in the wee hours of Feb 24. She said he attacked her with a parang, which left slash wounds on her left arm and fingers.
Her husband, according to Madam Kuek, came to her aid and knocked the man to the ground with a pipe. The son also rushed out of the house to help and they tied up the man with some rope.
Moo then drove Madam Kuek, 52, to a clinic to seek treatment, but when he returned to the house 15 minutes later, the robber had died.
She said her husband and son were acting in self-defence and that Chan was conscious when they tied him up. It was not clear how he died, she said.
Madam Kuek and her family live in Singapore and they travelled to Malaysia last month to visit relatives during Chinese New Year. The elder Moo grew up in Air Kuning.
Madam Kuek, a Singaporean, returned to Singapore briefly this week and is now back in Malaysia to find a criminal lawyer for her husband and son, Lianhe Wanbao reported.
Meanwhile, an online petition calling for a fair trial for both men has begun on website Change.org. It has garnered 777 signatures as of Friday evening. There is also an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for them.