S'pore boss shot in Johor Bahru
Gunman on motorbike fires two bullets, hitting Mr Raman Othayanan in the thigh. -TNP
SINGAPORE - The sudden loud sound coming from the other end of the telephone line startled her. It sounded like a loud bang, she thought.
But before she could find out what happened, the phone went dead.
"I thought my parents had met with an accident because the line went silent as soon as I heard the sound," said the 24-year-old, who wanted to be identified only as Miss Prithi.
The Republic Polytechnic student was in a public library in Johor Baru on Tuesday when she received the call from her mother.
Worried, Miss Prithi told The New Paper she tried desperately to get her parents back on line. But to no avail.
Moments later, her mobile phone rang.
It was her parents.
While initially relieved, what she heard next stunned her.
"Your father has been shot by a man," came her mother's frantic scream on the line.
The shooting happened at an open-air carpark at Taman Molek, a commercial and residential area in Johor Baru, on Tuesday.
At around 12.30pm that day, Mr Raman Othayanan - a Singapore permanent resident living in Johor Baru - was in his Singapore-registered BMW with his wife, Ms Pathma, 52.
The couple were there to pick up a package from a courier company at Taman Molek.
While they were in their parked car, Ms Pathma noticed a motorcyclist - who she reckoned was in his 30s - coming towards their vehicle.
He stopped by their car and pulled out a gun, pumping two shots in Mr Raman's direction.
Both bullets hit the 56-year-old, the managing director of Singapore-based engineering company NDT Hitech Inspection Services, in the thigh.
The motorcyclist then revved and sped away.
Ms Pathma immediately called her daughter for help.
"I was shivering when I heard the news," Miss Prithi told TNP on Wednesday night, recalling Tuesday's terrifying incident.
"I rushed out of the library with the intention of driving to my parents to help but I couldn't drive as my hands and legs were numb," she added.
"I then called my sister and asked her to get to my parents. She was nearby and drove my father to the hospital."
Mr Raman, a father of three, underwent a four-hour operation at Johor Specialist Hospital on Wednesday to remove both bullets.
The victim's twin younger brother was reported as saying that Mr Raman worked in both Singapore and Malaysia.
The latter also became the chairman of a Hindu temple half a year ago and did not harbour ill will against anyone.
A relieved Miss Prithi said her father's condition is now stable.
Motive behind shooting
But the motive behind the shooting is unknown.
In an interview with Malaysian daily Harian Metro, Seri Alam Police Chief Superintendent Roslan Zainuddin declined to give more details into the shooting.
He said investigations were ongoing.
Ms Pathma, who was not injured in the incident, told Harian Metro that they became suspicious when the assailant approached their car.
But before they could react, the motorcyclist pulled out a gun and fired in their direction. Ms Pathma, a kindergarten administrator, said she realised Mr Raman was shot when he cried out in pain.
The bullets pierced through his right thigh, leaving a bloody mess, she added.
TNP was unable to speak to Mr Raman as he was recuperating from his operation on Wednesday.
Miss Prithi said the family "was very relieved" her father was out of danger. But one question still haunts them.
"We still don't know why he was shot," she said.
"But the Malaysian police are giving my father protection, so we are happy about that."
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