A Malaysian man freed from an Australian jail after serving 21 years for the murder of a top heart surgeon has asked the victim's family for forgiveness, describing his crime as a "mistake."
Chiew Seng Liew, 69, was released on parole on Friday and deported to his home country after more than two decades in prison for the 1991 shooting of Australian heart surgeon Victor Chang in a failed extortion attempt.
Liew landed in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday and told an Australian television crew awaiting his arrival that he was sorry for his role in Chang's murder.
"I made a mistake," Liew told the Seven network.
"I did the wrong thing and I made the family suffer... I want to apologise (to) the family."
Liew pulled the trigger on Chang, an internationally renowned heart transplant pioneer who was gunned down on the pavement near his family home in a killing that shocked Australia.
He served 21 years of a 26-year sentence for the murder, and claimed to now be a changed man.
"His wife, his children, the whole family suffer too. Now, I changed. I understand already, I do everything wrong," Liew said.
"I tell them I'm very sorry, I'm very sorry. I hope you forgive me, the family, please," he added.
Liew, who is suffering from advanced Parkinson's disease, was paroled in time for his daughter Kwei Fei Liew's wedding.
She said their family had also been shattered by the crime and asked the public to give her father "one more chance".
"These things make us feel guilty for the past 21 years, we can't accept (them)," Liew's daughter said.
"We also understand that Doctor Victor Chang's family cannot accept these kind of things. We lost our father for the past 21 years and they also lost their father."
A spokesman for the Chang family, Howard Brown from the Victims of Crime Assistance League, said Liew had not participated in rehabilitation programmes while in prison and the apology -- his first in 21 years -- was "hollow".
"As far as the family is concerned he's only sorry he has lost 21 years of his life," Brown told the Sunday Telegraph newspaper.
"The Chang family lost their husband and father for the rest of their lives."
The man who provided Liew with the gun to shoot Chang, Phillip Choon Tee Lim, was also jailed over the killing. He was paroled and deported to Malaysia in 2010 after serving 18 years in prison.