Family quits home after tragedy

The home where the exorcism ritual went wrong.

BUKIT MERTAJAM - The family of a three-year-old toddler, who died of suffocation in an exorcism ritual gone wrong, is believed to have moved out of their home in Taman Bukit Minyak, Bukit Tengah here.

A neighbour, who declined to be named, said the family rarely came home after the tragedy.

"These days, the husband Chua Seng Ban only briefly stops by the house to feed the dog or clean the porch. He usually comes back twice a week around noon to avoid bumping into neighbours.

"I also spotted the wife Lim She Lee coming to stay for the night a few times," she said here yesterday.

The neighbour added that prior to the tragedy, the family hardly exchanged pleasantries with neighbours and only nodded to acknowledge them.

"The family kept to themselves," she said.

A check by The Star at the acupuncture and medical hall where Lim works as a traditional medicine practitioner showed that the shop has been closed for three consecutive days.

The couple was among the six family members fined a total of RM55,000 (S$21,500) by a Sessions Court after they pleaded guilty for negligently causing the death of Chua Wan Xuen on Aug 5 last year.

Seng Ban and Lim, her uncle Chua Seng Hoo, 29, aunt Chua Ah Luan, 40, and grandmother Ong Soh Guat, 67, were each fined RM10,000 in default five months jail while her 21-year-old cousin Loke Xim Lin was fined RM5,000 in default two months jail.

The eighth person was their Indonesian maid, who became a prosecution witness, and testified against the family.

Wan Xuen, aged two years and nine months at the time, was found naked and pinned under eight people during the ritual.