Grief and outrage at death of 15-year-old boy killed by a chair

BY JERRY CHOONG
(From left) Kasthuri Bai lamenting her son’s death, as Raja Nong Chik and her husband Sathiasilan listen on in Kuala Lumpur January 18, 2018. — Picture by Jerry Choong

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 16 — Residents of a People’s Housing Project (PPR) in Pantai Dalam where a 15-year-old boy was killed by a chair hurled from a flat are demanding action be taken against the person responsible.

Loud wailing could be heard along the corridor of the 16th floor of Block 102 where the victim, S. Satiswaran, lived with his family.

Among those who were with the grieving family was PPR Sri Pantai's residents’ association chairman Tursiah Sinor, 49. She was also one of the witnesses of the incident.

“Around 7.30pm yesterday I was with three other friends gathering signatures on the 11th floor, when we heard a loud crash followed by screaming. Fearing the worst we rushed downstairs to the main lobby facing the playground,” she told Malay Mail.

There they found Satiswaran lying on the ground covered in blood as his mother, S. Kasthuri Bai, knelt beside him sobbing. An office chair lay broken beside them. Tursiah said the impact of the chair killed Satiswaran instantly.

“There was little I could do but kneel beside Madam Kasthuri to hug and comfort her, until the police arrived a short while later.

“There have been numerous instances of irresponsible parties simply throwing garbage from the corridor balconies, which even resulted in injuries to whomever it hit below. But not like this,” she said.

Deeply angered that her frequent warnings to residents not to throw rubbish from their balconies was not heeded, Tursiah said she hoped the authorities would find the ones responsible for Satiswaran's death.

“I should not be surprised that this could have happened. Even more tragic that it had to happen to him. He was a mere child with his whole life ahead of him. I hope finding whoever threw the office chair will provide closure for his mother and family,” she said.

Kasthuri Bai, 45, sat on her bed and wailed inconsolably as her eldest son and neighbours gathered around her. Too distraught to speak, she asked her husband K. Sathiasilan to speak on her behalf.

The internal security man was calm as he spoke but the redness in his eyes told a different story. Sathiasilan said he was on the way home from work around 8.06pm when his wife called him, crying that their son had been injured while helping her to buy groceries.

“I rushed back as fast as possible, praying he was only wounded. But words left me when the first thing I saw upon arriving was his body covered with a white shroud. Neighbours later told me they had seen the office chair abandoned for some time on the 21st floor,” he said.

Sathiasilan last saw his youngest child yesterday morning, after waking him up to go to school. Father and son sleep on the same mattress together, in the main hall.

“The entire block knew him, he was such a friendly child. I had been saving up money so that he could go on and study culinary arts, as he always told us he wanted to become a chef. Now I must head back to Kuala Lumpur Hospital, and wait for the post-mortem to be completed,” he said.

Mechanic Phua Kok Onn, 35, lives with his family right across the corridor from Satiswaran's unit.

“I had finished a late shift at 10pm yesterday, and was checking Facebook on my phone while having supper when news of this came up on my feed,” he said.

A horrible sense of familiarity overcame him as he read on. He quickly called his mother, who informed him of what happened.

“I left my supper half-eaten and rushed back, only to find out it was too late for anything to be done except to comfort Sathiasilan and Kasthuri,” Phua said.

Pausing to wipe tears from his eyes, he said he had known Satiswaran's family even before the boy was born.

“I watched this child grow up in front of me. Of all the children living in our block, he was the friendliest and most well-mannered of them all. It is as though I have lost a little brother of my own,” he said.

Phua's grief is mixed with outrage, and he wants everything to be done to get the person who threw the chair.

“He is gone, nothing can bring our neighbour's son back. Catching and jailing the irresponsible one who did this is the least which can be done to ensure justice,” he said.

Earlier today Kuala Lumpur Criminal Investigations Department chief SAC Rusdi Mohd Isa said no arrests have been made yet in connection to the incident.