Secret society man jailed 10 years for fatal attack in 2000

He was jailed in Cambodia for drug offence after fleeing S'pore

See pleaded guilty to culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
See pleaded guilty to culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

After fatally stabbing a man in a fight 16 years ago, secret society member See Chee Keong fled Singapore and ended up spending 13 years in a Cambodian jail for drug trafficking.

He was released on a royal pardon in 2013 and deported to Singapore, where he was arrested for killing Leong Fook Weng, 36, an odd-job labourer.

Yesterday, See, now aged 50, was sentenced to 10 years' jail after he pleaded guilty to culpable homicide not amounting to murder. He was 34 years old when he stabbed the victim in the heart.

See is the second assailant to be jailed over the death of Mr Leong, who was attacked for nearly 15 minutes at a vacant plot near a cemetery in Kheam Hock Road in the early hours of May 17, 2000.

The first, Robson Tay Teik Chai, was given nine years' jail and 12 strokes of the cane in 2003 for culpable homicide. Tay had also fled Singapore and spent two years in prison in France for drug trafficking before he was deported.

Two other alleged assailants, Ong Chin Huat and Lim Hin Teck, are still at large. A fifth man, William Ho Kah Wei, who was part of the group, was jailed six months in 2003 for not reporting the crime. All were secret society members.

The High Court heard that shortly before Mr Leong was stabbed, the five men were having supper at a River Valley Road coffee shop.

Lim, who owed money to Mr Leong, complained about him to the others and said he wanted a fight with Mr Leong.

See then drove the group to Upper Boon Keng Road after finding out that Mr Leong was attending a funeral wake there. See confronted Mr Leong and assaulted him together with Tay.

After Mr Leong claimed that he was from a particular secret society, the group drove to the Tanjong Katong area to verify his affiliations with the head of the gang. When they learnt that Mr Leong was not a member of that secret society, the group dragged him into See's car and continued beating him.

They alighted at a vacant plot in Kheam Hock Road, where three of them continued assaulting Mr Leong. See used a blade that was concealed in a lighter and stabbed the victim in the neck and chest.

Mr Leong was then stripped to his underwear and his wallet taken from his motionless body before the group left the scene.

See's lawyer, Mr James Masih, said in mitigation that his client had merely wanted to teach Mr Leong a lesson for switching gang loyalties.

The lawyer, noting that See had done time in Cambodia, sought eight years' jail so that the twice-married man could spend his last years being a good father and grandfather.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 21, 2016, with the headline 'Secret society man jailed 10 years for fatal attack in 2000'. Print Edition | Subscribe