SINGAPORE, Feb 27 — The apex court threw out cross-appeals for the 2010 Kallang slashing case today, noting that the sentences for Micheal Anak Garing and Tony Anak Imba were appropriate, given their roles in the brazen robbery spree that left one construction worker dead and three others severely injured.
“At the end of the day, the punishment must fit the crime. We are satisfied that the death penalty is warranted for (Micheal) given his savage use of the parang on deceased. The same, however, cannot be said for (Tony’s) involvement in the attack on the deceased our decision in this regard rests on a very fine balance,” said Judge of Appeal Chao Hick Tin, delivering the three-man court’s decision.
Micheal, 28, and three others from his hometown in Sarawak, Malaysia, carried out four violent robberies from the late night of May 29, 2010 to the early hours of the next day in Kallang.
Their first two victims were then-construction worker Sandeep Singh, 24, and then-full-time national serviceman Ang Jun Heng, 19. They were both attacked from behind, kicked and punched, and slashed with a parang.
A third victim, Indian national Egan Karuppaiah, then 43, had both arms almost hacked to the bone.
Their final victim was Shanmuganathan Dillidurai, 41, who was attacked between 12.12am and 7.34am on May 30, 2010. He died on the spot after sustaining a fractured skull, among other injuries, on a field near Kallang Road.
After a trial, Micheal was given the death penalty, as the court found that he had wielded the parang in the fatal attack. His accomplice Tony, 38, was sentenced to life imprisonment and 24 strokes of the cane in 2015. Micheal appealed against his conviction and sentence, while the prosecution appealed for Tony to face the hangman’s noose as well.
Agreeing with a lower court’s decision for Micheal to hang, the Court of Appeal said that the sheer brutality of his attack on Indian national Shanmuganathan warranted the death penalty because he had acted in “blatant disregard for human life”. Micheal used a 58cm-long parang to slash the victim, striking his head with such force that it caused a fracture on the skull, and he also slit the victim’s throat.
“(He) attacked the deceased in a totally savage and merciless manner, as though he were attacking a hunted prey,” said Justice Chao.
While Tony initiated the attack on Shanmuganathan, his role in the attack extended to holding on to the victim, which did not reflect a blatant disregard for human life, the court said.
“We are not satisfied that he held onto the deceased for a significant period of time long enough for Garing to inflict the fatal injuries,” said Justice Chao.
A third accomplice, Hairee Landak, was sentenced to 33 years’ jail and 24 strokes of the cane in 2013 after admitting to armed robbery and causing grievous hurt.
A fourth suspect was arrested in Malaysia in January this year, after evading arrest for six years. Donny Meluda, 26, who now goes by the name of Abdul Rahman Abdullah, has been charged for the offence of murder with common intention. His case is still before the court, and if convicted, he will face the death penalty. — TODAY