He took knife out in fear

He took knife out in fear
A motorcycle salesman Mr Phua Kok Khoon, 38, was charged in court on 30 May 2012 for the murder of a 25-year-old mover, Firman Hamik Abdul Halem at Bukit Merah Lane 2 on 28 May 2012. Mr Phua faces the death penalty if convicted.

SINGAPORE - Mistaking his victim's black umbrella for a sword, he whipped out a knife from his pocket and attacked him with it.

Sales executive Phua Kok Khoon, 40, slashed and stabbed Mr Firman Hakim Abdul Halem, 24, six times with the weapon and the younger man later died from his injuries.

Phua was yesterday jailed four years after pleading guilty to culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

They had fought over a woman - Phua's former wife.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Wong Woon Kwong said about a year after Phua married his wife in November 2010, the couple encountered marital problems.

His wife then initiated divorce proceedings in the Syariah Court in December 2011 after Phua started seeing an ex-girlfriend.

About a month later, he looked through his ex-wife's Facebook page and found out that she was seeing Mr Firman Hakim, a delivery attendant.

Their paths crossed on May 28, 2012 when Phua received a text message from an unknown number that said "Kol (sic) me". Phua was then at work at Southern Motor automotive shop at Block 1006, Bukit Merah Lane 2.

When he made the call, Mr Firman Hakim answered and said he was going out with Phua's ex-wife. The men then argued over the phone and hurled vulgarities at each other.

Mr Firman Hakim asked Phua to meet him at the Ikea outlet at nearby Alexandra Road, but Phua refused.

Said DPP Wong: "(Mr Firman Hakim) told (Phua) that he would look for him at his workplace...(and) also warned (him) not to call the police...stating that he knew where (Phua's) family and brother stayed."

After hearing this, Phua hung up the phone and ignored subsequent calls from the younger man.

Undeterred, Mr Firman Hakim sent him four more text messages and made veiled threats by asking whether Phua wanted to go to the hospital.

Phua, who grew worried, left his workplace and went to nearby shops to buy a paper cutter and a knife with a 19.5cm-long blade before returning to work.

THE ATTACK

He left his workplace at around 5.30pm and was walking towards his bike near Block 1005 when he spotted Mr Firman Hakim.

The two men walked towards each other, with the latter carrying the 60cm-long umbrella in his right hand.

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