Horse-racing community shocked over jockey’s murder

GEORGE TOWN — Singapore’s horse-racing community is in shock over the murder of former Kranji-based apprentice jockey Chung Wah Thong in Penang.

The Straits Times reported yesterday Chung, who was 28, rode briefly at the Singapore Turf Club earlier this year.

The news portal said the STC had Wednesday expressed its deepest condolences to the bereaved family.

Chung, who won 30 races, including the Malaysian Group 1 Selangor Gold Cup last year, had relocated to Singapore in January and was indentured to Singapore trainer Leslie Khoo, said the report.

“It’s so senseless and to lose his son and mother … makes it even more senseless. WT (Wah Thong) was a quiet boy but he worked hard at the stables,” Khoo was quoted as saying.

Besides Chung, three of his family members were also shot dead at a chicken processing factory in Batu Maung, Penang, early Wednesday.

The victims were identified as Tan Hock Choon, 50, his common law wife Tan Saw Sim, 55, and Chung’s two-year-old son named Chung Ay Dey, also known as Ah Bee. — Bernama

WeChat followed by rape, victim claims

SUBANG JAYA — It was a casual conversation over cellular application WeChat, but what was unexpected was the trauma that followed.

An accounts assistant ended up being taken on a joy ride and raped by a 30-year-old new-found friend identified only as John.

The victim told police that she was raped in an office suite in SS15, which was owned by her attacker.

The victim, aged 24, linked with the suspect about two months ago over the popular mobile chat application.

After numerous chats, she accepted a dinner invitation on Monday.

They met again the following day, and the victim was fetched from her home at Mentari Court along Jalan PJS 8/9.

It was learnt the suspect was taken for a drive in Kuala Lumpur, before taken to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).

The suspect claimed he had some work to complete, and later returned.

On reaching Subang Jaya, the victim was told that they had to make a detour to the suspect’s office before dropping her off at her apartment.

The victim told police the suspect forced himself on her and warned she would be hurt if she failed to give in to his demands.

She was held at the apartment for several hours and dropped off at her home about 5am on Wednesday.

District deputy police chief Supt Lee Swee Meng said police investigations were underway.

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Gunman dead in shootout with police

GEORGE TOWN — Wanted gunman Chung Chun Wah met his Waterloo near the Air Itam market place yesterday evening — some 40 hours after being on the run following the Batu Maung shooting which claimed four victims.

Coincidentally, it was at this market where his mother had suggested that Chun Wah turn over a new leaf and start a poultry business, leaving behind his life of crime, but it fell on deaf ears.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar congratulated the task force team set up to track down the gunman on their success.

His personal twitter account (@KBAB51) confirmed the identity of the gunman.

Police, who had been involved in a manhunt since the predawn shooting of the four on Wednesday, were tipped off about Chun Wah’s whereabouts.

They rushed to the scene and spotted a car fitted with false number plates at about 7pm.

Seated behind the steering wheel was a man wearing a baseball cap.

On seeing the police party, Chun Wah opened fire. But before he could dash out of the vehicle, police returned fire killing him instantly.

They found Chun Wah clutching a semi automatic pistol, and a magazine loaded with several rounds of ammunition. Several spent casings were found.

Soon after the shooting, state senior forensic pathologist consultant Datuk Dr Bhupinder Singh arrived at the scene accompanied by Criminal Investigations Department chief Senior Assistant Commissioner Datuk Razarudin Hussain.

Earlier in the day, police described the manner the victims were killed as being done by someone who was in a confused state of rage and evidently merciless.

“Imagine this, he killed his mother, brother … he may not have hesitated to kill anyone else who came in his way,” Penang Chief Police Officer Deputy Commissioner Datuk Abdul Ghafar Rajab said.

Fourteen shots were fired at the scene of the crime in Batu Maung, with four shots fired each at Chun Wah’s brother, their mother and her live-in partner, and two shots at his two-year-old nephew.

Chun Wah had turned up at his mother’s container cabin home within the chicken processing factory premises at Block H off Jalan Batu Maung.

Investigations revealed an argument ensued after his mother, Tan Saw Sim, 55, rejected demands for money. Her live-in partner Tan Hock Choon, who was the factory owner, got involved in the argument.

Chun Wah whipped out a pistol and opened fire killing his mother first, before training the weapon on Hock Choon.

Chun Wah’s brother, Wah Thong, 28, came down the stairs carrying his son, Ay Dey, affectionately called Ah Bee, to investigate the commotion and firecracker- like sounds.

The gunman opened fire again, killing both father and son, leaving them in a pool of blood at the foot of the stairs.

Soon after the incident, Chun Wah was seen fleeing from the container cabin and speeding off in a four-wheel drive vehicle, which was found abandoned at Taman Bee, near the St Anne’s Church in Bukit Mertajam, about seven hours later.

Crime scene investigators and forensic experts were able to piece together events which unfolded in the premises, and this was corroborated with post-mortem reports performed on the four.

Teenager’s life-long burden of guilt

GEORGE TOWN –— A teenager will carry the burden of guilt for the rest of his life knowing he could have averted the tragic Batu Maung shooting which claimed the lives of four, including that of his two-year-old cousin.

To add to his woes, police are now anxious to meet the 18-year-old to record his statement.

The teenager, whose identity is known to police, had prior knowledge about the suspect being armed with a semi-automatic pistol.

For reasons best known to him, he failed to tip off the police but instead made the disclosure during a media interview following the shooting. The interview was published in the morning newspapers yesterday.

“We will be calling the teenager soon as we are aware of the interview he had given,” state Criminal Investigations Department chief Senior Assistant Commissioner Datuk Razarudin Husain told Malay Mail.

Razarudin, describing the incident as shocking, said it could have been averted had police been made aware of the firearm possession earlier.

It was learnt police would also speak to one of their personnel who had a close relationship with the victims as they wished to ascertain if he also had knowledge of the weapon.

The teenager had told reporters the gunman, who was a close relative, had flashed the pistol at the family and workers at the factory soon after he got possession of it.

It has since been established the man was not a licensed firearm owner.

In Singapore, the horse racing fraternity was in shock over the murder of former Kranji-based apprentice jockey Chung Wah Thong.

The Straits Times reported yesterday Wah Thong rode briefly at the Singapore Turf Club earlier this year.

Its news portal said the STC had expressed its deepest condolences to the bereaved family.

Wah Thong, who won 30 races, including the Malaysian Group 1 Selangor Gold Cup last year, had relocated to Singapore in January and worked with with Singapore trainer Leslie Khoo, said the report.

‘Bomb near rail track 
may be sabotage’

KUALA LUMPUR — A crudely made bomb was found near the Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) railway track in Jalan Kolam Air 9 in Sentul during peak hours on Wednesday, in what is believed to be an apparent case of “sabotage”.

Police were alerted to the explosive — a mineral water bottle wrapped in a plastic and newspaper — along the tracks by KTMB’s auxiliary personnel at 4.35pm.

A police source said the bottle contained gunpowder, ball bearings and glass shrapnel wrapped in a cylinder-shaped cardboard paper and plastic.

He said the top part of the bottle was covered with a cone-shaped polyvinyl chloride pipe and contained gunpowder similar to that used for fireworks.

“It was an explosive. Sentul police immediately contacted Special Branch when they saw the contents in the bottle,” the source added.

Bukit Aman Special Branch director Datuk Seri Fuzi Harun, in confirming the incident, said the case was being investigated as “sabotage”. He ruled out Islamic State (IS) links in the incident.

The explosive was found where two KTMB lines run — the Batu Caves-Tampin Komuter line and the Tanjung Malim-Port Klang line.

At least two trains had passed the area within 10 minutes before the bomb was found. It remained unclear how long the explosive had been at the site.

The trains were from Sentul and Segambut stations heading to Putra station.

A KTMB spokesman said they were working closely with police regarding
the incident.

“Special Branch has not informed us the outcome of its investigations. We are happy to assist in anyway possible,” he said.

He added police had already warned the rail company before the Hari Raya celebrations to step up security as IS militants had threatened to attack public transport services.

“None of our auxiliary police personnel were allowed to go on Raya leave and it is thanks to their watchful eyes that they found the explosive,” he said.

The threat comes following a grenade explosion at a bar in Puchong on June 28. Police had initially ruled out terror links but later confirmed IS militants were behind
the attack.

Suspicious stakeouts at Bukit Aman, Putrajaya police headquarters

KUALA LUMPUR — Police encountered two incidents of suspicious characters staking out Bukit Aman and Putrajaya headquarters just hours apart.

The individuals had taken pictures of the entrance and surroundings of
both headquarters.

Police are unsure of the motive behind the actions of the duo or if they knew
each other.

A police source said a policeman stationed at Bukit Aman’s Gate A spotted a “bald, fair-skinned and heavily bearded man” in a silver Proton Perdana. He was driving along Jalan Cenderasari while snapping pictures of the headquarters’ entrance at 5.15am
on Tuesday.

When the officer approached the man, he accelerated and drove towards Jalan Tembusu, near Masjid Negara. Checks revealed the car had used a fake registration number as it was registered to another vehicle in Johor Baru.

The second incident occurred at 4pm on Wednesday when a policeman manning the guard post at the Putrajaya headquarters nabbed a 27-year-old who had pulled over his Proton Saga and taken pictures of the entrance and its surroundings.

The suspect is from Felda Sungai Koyan, Pahang.

“He tried to escape when he was approached but police managed to arrest him,” the source said.

Both cases are being investigated by the Special Branch.

Bukit Aman Special Branch director Datuk Seri Fuzi Haron, in confirming both incidents, said security has been intensified with heavily armed personnel guarding state police headquarters nationwide.

Fuzi said state police headquarters nationwide were one of the top targets of Islamic State militants.

“The threat is real. We are not taking anything lightly,” Fuzi said.

“Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, Special Branch assistant director DCP Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay and I have received death threats over the phone from these IS militants,”
he added.

Battling nerves Newenham’s way

PETALING JAYA — Champions in sport are renowned for their cool, flexible responses to situations they face or are thrust upon them.

But what’s to be done when you are a debutant and that too, at the summit of sport the Olympics?

What happens when there are butterflies in the stomach and you have a hard time concentrating on the matter at hand?

Podium Programme director Tim Newenham has some advice.

He says it is the norm every Olympian would feel nervous. The nervy feeling, however, can be handled in a positive way, says Newenham.

“For instance, a sports psychologist would offer to teach them real skills to help them stay in the present and focus on key actions they have to perform,” he said.

Newenham says competitors and coaches enjoy a special bond that can help athletes to sooth frayed nerves and focus on the field of play.

It sounds like Newenham is suggesting that nervous athletes view their coaches as a sort of guardian angel, standing by their side and gently urging them to do the right thing.

“An example may be in tennis, when someone double faults for them to visualise their coach by their side and concentrate on what he would say.

“Athletes need to visualise their coach as being at their ‘side’ and remember their magic words during training such as ‘Keep your left hand up longer’ by doing that they increase their likelihood of getting their next serve in.

“So by visualising their coaches as standing beside them, athletes can ward off negative thoughts such as worries about not getting the serve in.”

In addition, Newenham also has had personal one-on-one talks with each athlete, especially the ones who are debuting at the Games.

The Olympic Council of Malaysia on Tuesday confirmed that 32 athletes will be competing in the Rio Olympics on Aug 5-21.

Games merger falls through

KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysia’s hopes of hosting the 2017 SEA Games and Asean Para Games together hit a dead end as the proposal was rejected at the SEA Games Federation (SEAGF) meeting yesterday.

Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) deputy president Datuk Norza Zakaria said when the proposal was put to a vote, only Malaysia voted in favour while 10 other affiliates did not support it.

“The other 10 countries gave all sorts of reasons. One of it is to retain tradition.

Countries were also of the opinion that the Para Games would require special attention from the media to gain recognition,” he told reporters after chairing the meeting.

Norza said the affiliates also discussed at length the risks involved in organising the events together.

He said though various reasons were offered by the respective countries during the meeting, he would submit the details at the SEAGF council meeting today.

In March, the Malaysian Paralympic Council (MPC) had proposed that the two Games be held on the same dates in August next year and called the Asean Games 2017.

MPC, led by its president SM Nasaruddin SM Nasimuddin, his deputy Ng Keng Chuan and vice-president Jason Lo had submitted the proposal to Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin for consideration.

Although the proposal was rejected, the SEAGF exco approved Malaysia’s proposal to host 38 sports featuring 405 events.
— Bernama

Malaysian Juniors impress in singles

KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysia’s junior players’ challenge in the mixed team event at the Asian Badminton Junior Championships in Bangkok might have ended on Monday, but they soldiered on and made quite an impression in the individual event which started yesterday.

M. Thinaah who was disappointed with her performance in the women’s doubles of the mixed team event, said she wanted to make amends in the individual event and did just that as she defeated Hong Kong’s Leong Sze Lok in the first round 21-17, 21-12 yesterday.

“I was initially upset about the loss in the team event, but I persevered and focused on doing well in the singles,” she said.

“It was much better playing singles as I was more confident and won the match.”

She will face South Korea’s Kim Hyang Im in the second round today.

Team captain Goh Jin Wei will face off with Hong Kong’s Lam Yeung Pui in her first match of the championships.

Boys’ singles shuttler Tan Jia Wei beat Myanmar’s Aung Myo Htoo 21-14, 21-14, and will face Indonesia’s 11th seed Muhammad Zulkifli Ramadhani.

Leong Jun Hao will play South Korea’s Kim Moon Jun today, while the boys’ doubles Chang Yee Jun-Ng Eng Cheong will face Japan’s Hiroki Okamura-Masayuki Onodera after beating Hong Kong’s Chow Hin Long- Lam Wai Lok 21-12, 21-23, 21-16. Chen Tang Jie-Hoo Pang Ron who won by walkover will play eighth seeded Fan Qiuyue-Ren Xingyu in the second round.

Sixth seeded Ooi Zi Heng-Soh Wooi Yik will play Taiwan’s Su Li Wei-Ye Hong Wei in their first match.

Malaysia’s other girls in singles competition Eoon Qu Xuan and S. Kisona are also through to the next round. Eoon will face Myanmar’s Thet Htar Thuzar in the second round after beating Iya Gordeyeva 21-2, 21-15. Kisona will have a tough encounter against third seed Chen Yufei today after thrashing Mongolia’s Batchimeg Batnairamdal 21-3, 21-3 in the first round.

Mixed doubles pair Ng Eng Cheong and Toh Ee Wei defeated Singapore’s Lee Jian Liang- Koh Ker’ Sara 24-22, 21-9. They will meet eighth seeded Zhu Junhao-Zhou Chaomin, while Chen Tang Jie-Pearly Tan Koong Le beat Pang Fong Pui-Xue Xin Gong from Macau 21-10, 21-12 and meet China’s Li Jinqiu-Shen Lingjie in the next round.

Willett aims for British Open crown

TROON, Scotland — Danny Willett comes to Royal Troon as both a major championship winner and as a contender for last year’s British Open championship, and that is not a coincidence.

Willett was within a shot of the lead in the second round of the Open at St Andrews. He fell back a bit in the third round, but he was still doing well enough to be paired with Zach Johnson, the eventual winner, in the final round, and watching Johnson was instructive.

“The one thing that’s impressive about Zach is Zach never changes the game plan for anyone, any golf course. Regardless who he’s playing against, he just does his own thing,” Willett said at a press conference at Troon on Tuesday.

Nine months later, Willett was patiently creeping up on Jordan Spieth in the final round of the Masters. And then Spieth rapidly came back to meet him, throwing away a five-shot lead. Willett applied the lesson he had learned from Johnson.

“You’re not going to do anything different,” he said. “The reason you’re in that position is because you’re a very good player and you can do what you can do, and hopefully on a Sunday afternoon it’s good enough.”

It was good enough to bring him his first major. It’s something of a cliche that winning the first major is the hardest, that they come easier once you know how. Willett is not sure that’s true, at least not for him this year.

“If anything, it’s probably a bit tougher, because you know you’ve done it and played well and competed and won against the best golfers.

“It’s a tough one now to make sure that you get back to the place where you were before you actually won and try not to have too much expectation on yourself every day.

“Otherwise, it’s a pretty lonely game when things aren’t going your way, and you struggle a little bit, because all you have to do is be reminiscing about how well you played a few months ago.”

He also comes into Troon as the most recent Englishman to win a major and to contend at a British Open. That may well be an advantage when he tees off .

“Being British, this is the one you want to get your hands on. To be able to come here as a major champion and get the crowds going, obviously would be fantastic on Thursday morning (today). Yes, it will be really special.”— Reuters

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