No Psychiatric Observation for Accused of Tanjung Sepat Murder-Arson

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The court turned down the request for psychiatric observation for the deaf-mute accused of killing four members of a family in Tanjung Sepat, as he appeared to be of sound mind.

A hearing-impaired man suspected of setting a home on fire which killed several members of a family in Tanjung Sepat on Dec 13 was brought to the Telok Datok magistrate’s court yesterday to face four murder charges and another for voluntarily causing hurt to a child.

Kang Chang Heng, 38, of Taman Sri Jaya in Kluang, Johor, was charged with the murders of Chia Tee Nang, 73, his wife Lim Mai Shak, 68, their grandsons Chia Yuan Bin, 3, and 9-year-old Ryan Chia Zeng Xi, at 72 Jalan Tepi Laut, Tanjung Sepat, Kuala Langat, between 4am and 5am on Dec 13.

He faces a mandatory death sentence if found guilty of the offence under Section 302 of the Penal Code.

Kang, a furniture factory worker in Kepong, was also charged under Section 324 of the Penal Code for voluntarily causing hurt to Andrew Chia Zeng Haol, 12.

The accused nodded to signal that he understood the five charges read out to him by a sign language interpreter before magistrate Mohd Isa Md Nor.

However, no plea was recorded.

After all the charges were read out, Kang’s counsel Lim Chin Huat applied for his client to be sent for a month-long psychiatric observation for a month as Kang was suspected to have a mental disorder.

Lim told the court that Kang was suspected to have a mental disorder as he suffered from serious hallucinations.

He said that Kang had often felt that there was a voice inside him telling him to do things.

”According to my client’s family, he had tried to jump from his fourth-floor flat. The defence requests under Section 342(3) of the Criminal Procedure Code for an order to allow my client to be sent for psychiatric observation for a month,” he said.

However, Mohd Isa rejected Lim’s application as he found Kang appeared to be of sound mind, adding that in normal circumstances, such an application would be made by the prosecution.

“I see the accused is not behaving strangely as if he is unsound and he appears to be healthy.

“I cannot grant the application. However, if the counsel is able to furnish supporting documents and convince the court that the accused has a history of psychological problems, it can be considered,” said Mohd Isa.

He set March 8 for mention and submission of documents.


Related reports:

Dec 19, Murder-Arson Suspect Charged

Dec 15, Deaf-Mute Suspect Arrested over Tanjung Sepat Murder-Arson

Dec 14, Sepang Murder-Arson: Simple Lives Shattered

Dec 13, Sepang Blaze: Murdered, Set on Fire