Suspect in 2016 killing still at large: Coroner

The suspect in a 2016 stabbing death is still at large after fleeing Singapore 30 minutes after the attack.

In an inquiry on Wednesday into the death of Mr Chua Meng Guan, 42, State Coroner Kamala Ponnampalam said Oh Beng Yam, 50, inflicted fatal injuries on the younger man in a violent assault near Little India at 11.20pm on July 11, 2016.

Oh then fled to Johor Baru via the Woodlands Checkpoint about 30 minutes later. A warrant was obtained for his arrest outside Singapore but he managed to slip out of Malaysia for Thailand two days later.

Coroner Kamala found that Oh had "perpetrated the unlawful killing" of Mr Chua. She also said: "The Thai authorities have been alerted on this case. Mr Oh's actual whereabouts remain unknown to date. There have been no credible leads to his whereabouts thus far. Presently, Mr Oh remains at large."

On the day of the attack, Mr Chua parked his Toyota Camry in Jalan Besar near the KSP Pub. He walked into the nightspot but came out a short while later and entered his car.

Oh then stepped out of the pub and was seen holding an object wrapped in newspaper. An altercation broke out between the two Singaporeans but court papers did not mention the reason behind it.

Two other men stepped out of the pub to separate the pair, and Oh returned to the watering hole.

Still unhappy, Mr Chua walked back to the pub, opened the door and gestured for Oh to come out. When Oh approached him, he headed off to the other side of the road outside the pub. Oh followed him for a short distance before returning to the pub.

Mr Chua tailed him. He stood at the pub entrance a second time and challenged Oh to come out. Oh then came forward, and closed-circuit television footage showed him thrusting the newspaper-wrapped object at Mr Chua's abdomen.

Oh charged out of the pub with a knife in his hand, the footage showed. Mr Chua could be seen backing into a corner in front of the Trey Hostel next door, with Oh coming after him. Mr Chua grabbed a table to block his attacker but dropped it and fell to the ground.

Coroner Kamala said Oh then repeatedly stabbed Mr Chua with the weapon before fleeing.

A passer-by stopped a police car nearby and told officers inside about the attack. Paramedics soon arrived and Mr Chua was pronounced dead at around 11.30pm.

A forensic pathologist later found that he died from stab wounds to his chest that penetrated his lungs.

Coroner Kamala said there was clear evidence to show a direct link between Oh's actions and Mr Chua's death. She added that police investigations have not implicated any other individuals in the killing.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 23, 2018, with the headline 'Suspect in 2016 killing still at large: Coroner'. Print Edition | Subscribe