Twenty-two years ago, an Indonesian national attacked three Malaysians with a knife in a flat and fled to Batam.
There, he turned over a new leaf and became a religious teacher. But his past caught up with him as he was leading a group of pilgrims from Batam to Mecca last June, when he was arrested at HarbourFront Centre.
Yesterday, Khairul, 45, who goes by only one name, was sentenced to four years' jail and seven strokes of the cane after he admitted to causing grievous hurt to Mr Lim Bu Chuan.
Khairul was 24 when he slashed Mr Lim, then 23, in the neck, leaving him paralysed, at a flat in Clementi Avenue 2 at about 2am on Sept 26, 1992.
He also slashed two men living with Mr Lim at the flat - Mr Cho Chee Heng, then 20, and Mr Puah Seng Yap, then 30. These charges were considered during sentencing.
Assistant Public Prosecutor Lydia Goh said that at the time Khairul had been visiting Singapore to attend a refresher course for his company Mayor Batam Indah, which produces electronic cables. The victims were here on social visit passes.
Mr Lim and Mr Cho had befriended Khairul and invited him to their flat to watch television. By the time they got there at about 11.30pm, Mr Puah was already asleep.
Mr Lim went to bed first while Mr Cho and Khairul watched TV and chatted before Mr Cho also turned in. At about 2am, Khairul sneaked into the bedroom and attacked Mr Lim with a fruit knife he found.