80-year-old charged with murder

Char Chin Fah, 80, is accused of murdering his 54-year-old daughter-in-law on Thursday morning in their home in Tampines.

SINGAPORE - An 80-year-old man was yesterday charged with murdering his daughter-in-law.

Char Chin Fah is believed to be the oldest person to be accused of murder in Singapore's recent history, and could hang if he is convicted.

He allegedly murdered Madam Ong Guat Leng, 54, between 9am and 10.04am on Thursday in their home in Block 440 Tampines Street 43.

Char, who is tanned and has a slim build and closely cut hair, fidgeted in the dock yesterday while waiting for his case to be mentioned.

He looked and gestured repeatedly in the direction of the public gallery but seemed calm and alert when the charge was read to him in Mandarin.

The court ordered that he be remanded for a week in the Central Police Division for further investigation and that he be taken back to the scene of the alleged crime.

His case will be heard in court again next Friday.

Two men present in court, believed to be Char's relatives, left the room after the hearing.

When approached, the older man said in Mandarin that none of the family members was in the right frame of mind to discuss the case, and declined further comment.

Char was living in the five-room flat with his army regular son and Madam Ong, as well as their adult son. The couple's two married twin daughters live elsewhere.

Madam Ong was reportedly found dead in a bedroom by one of her daughters.

Police found the victim lying motionless in the flat when they arrived. They were later seen searching the rubbish chute of the block and removing a metre-long, dented metal rod, a purple handkerchief and a grey blood-stained T-shirt.

When The Straits Times visited the family's flat yesterday, the interior was plastered with red paper.

One distant relative told reporters that Madam Ong would be remembered for her friendly demeanour. He said the extended family was gathering at the flat for prayers. Yellow tentage has been set up at the block's void deck in preparation for her wake.

This article was first published on August 23, 2014.
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