Man faces jail for fatal stabbing 13 years ago

SINGAPORE - A 59-year-old man who was on the run for more than 10 years has pleaded guilty to a charge of stabbing a man to death at a wet market in Toa Payoh.

Eng Bak Siong was brought back to Singapore from Malaysia last year to face a murder charge. However, after police investigations, the charge was reduced.

In a district court yesterday, Eng admitted to the charge of causing grievous hurt to Mr Peng Teck Hoe, a 32-year-old painter. He will be sentenced on Jan 25.

According to court papers, Neo Eng Hwee, a friend of Eng's, believed he had been cheated during a card game at the market on Feb 21, 2001.

Neo called Eng and his other friends down to confront the suspected cheats.

When Eng, Neo's friend Tan Keng Heng and several others arrived, a fight broke out. In the commotion, Eng grabbed a knife and stabbed Mr Peng in the chest and abdomen.

The assailants then fled. Mr Peng died in Tan Tock Seng Hospital later that day.

Eng, Neo and Tan, all Singaporean odd-job workers, then fled to Malaysia.

Neo gave himself up at Tuas Checkpoint in 2005.

Then aged 51, he was sentenced to three years and eight months in prison for his involvement in causing grievous hurt to Mr Peng.

Eng was arrested in Johor Baru by Malaysian police in July last year for immigration offences. He was extradited to Singapore later that month.

His previous convictions include causing hurt with a dangerous weapon, for which he was jailed for nine months and caned four times in 1982.

He could be jailed for up to 10 years for the offence of stabbing Mr Peng to death. Male offenders above 50 years old are spared caning.

Tan, now 69, is still at large.