SINGAPORE — An Indonesian maid who fled to her home country after the bodies of an elderly Singaporean couple were found at their Bedok Reservoir Road home in 2017 is currently serving a 20-year jail term for the double murder, the coroner’s court heard on Tuesday (1 September).
Khasanah, who goes by one name, fled Singapore via ferry but was arrested in Indonesia a week later, testified investigating officer Mahathir Mohamad. Assistant superintendent (ASP) Mahathir read out excerpts from an investigation report and supporting documents, detailing Khasanah’s arrest and trial in Indonesia.
State Coroner Kamala Ponnampalam is leading the inquiry into the deaths of Chia Ngim Fong, 79, and Chin Sek Fah, 78. Chia and Chin were found tied up and dead in their Bedok flat on 21 June 2017, with Khasanah, then 41, nowhere to be found. She had worked for the couple for less than a month, according to earlier media reports.
According to an autopsy report, Chia died from blunt force trauma to the head, while Chin sustained blunt force trauma to both her head and chest.
Singapore authorities classified the case as a murder and listed Khasanah as a suspect, due to her unscheduled departure from Singapore, said ASP Mahathir. Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) records showed that Khasanah had boarded a ferry at the Singapore Cruise Centre at 1.20pm on 21 June 2017.
She remained on the run until she was overheard in an Internet cafe in Indonesia talking about the murder on her mobile phone. The Indonesian National Police were alerted and Khasanah arrested on 28 June 2017. Stolen items, which were not revealed in court, were also recovered from her.
Following her arrest, Khasanah provided two statements on 29 June and 1 July 2017, setting out the events that led to the death of the couple. She admitted to assaulting both in a bid to flee from their residence and preparing raffia string, which she intended to tie the deceased with before leaving.
She was charged with the offences of premeditated murder and theft and tried in an Indonesian court from 27 February to 2 May 2018, with Singapore authorities sharing its investigative findings. Evidence from Singaporean witnesses, based on the statements they provided, was also considered, with some appearing via video-link.
Khasanah was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment, but appealed. Her appeal, heard in the Jakarta High Court on 15 August 2018, resulted in her sentence being reduced to 20 years’ jail.
Khasanah was not returned to Singapore to be dealt with as an Indonesian had to be processed in Indonesia for a crime committed overseas instead of being sent to the jurisdiction where the offence was committed.
The findings into the death of the couple will be released on Wednesday.
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