Malaysian faces life in jail over firearm possession

Seow Lam Seng was arrested by Malaysian police in Penang last week after being on the run from Singapore police for 38 years. He was later transferred here and is being held at Central Police Division.
Seow Lam Seng was arrested by Malaysian police in Penang last week after being on the run from Singapore police for 38 years. He was later transferred here and is being held at Central Police Division.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

Long-time fugitive allegedly had pistol strapped to waist during police check in Singapore in 1980

A man, on the run for 38 years in connection with alleged possession of a firearm, appeared in a Singapore court yesterday after being arrested in Malaysia last week.

If convicted, Seow Lam Seng, a Malaysian who is now 63 years old, faces life imprisonment.

He was arrested by Malaysian police in Penang last Thursday and transferred here two days later.

In a statement on Sunday, the Singapore Police Force said that on Oct 3, 1980, two officers spotted Seow and another man known as Lee Ah Fatt behaving suspiciously at a staircase next to Sin Po Po Bar in Tanjong Katong Road at around 2.30pm.

The officers decided to check on the two men. It was alleged that Seow was carrying a pistol, which was strapped to his waist, while Lee had a similar weapon in his back pocket.

The police statement said Lee "had allegedly drawn his pistol from his back trouser pocket and pointed it at the officers, resulting in one of them drawing his service revolver to shoot at him".

But Lee, despite being shot, was believed to have continued to struggle with the two police officers and, during the commotion, Seow managed to flee the scene.

Lee eventually succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital.

The police said they had regularly reviewed the case in an attempt to locate Seow.

Those convicted of being unlawfully in possession of a firearm can also be sentenced to at least six strokes of the cane.

But Seow cannot be caned as he is above 50 years old.

He is now remanded at Central Police Division and will be back in court next Monday.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 27, 2018, with the headline 'Malaysian faces life in jail over firearm possession'. Print Edition | Subscribe