Seniors in showdown

SINGAPORE - He was 79 while his opponent, in comparison, was a sprightly 65 years old.

The object of their dispute was surprisingly, given their ages, a woman.

At 48, Ms Leow Peck Fong was young enough to be the daughter of the older man, Lim Song Chong.

The dispute came to a head on March 5 last year at the Glad Tidings Church, where Lim had lived for 32 years as its caretaker.

In the showdown, Lim hurled an umbrella and two knives at Mr Chong Yee Mun, who retaliated by throwing a fire extinguisher.

None of the objects hit their intended targets.

On Monday, Lim, whom his lawyer said is going blind, was jailed a day and fined $3,000 for committing criminal intimidation and a rash act that had endangered Mr Chong.

Ms Leow had been staying with Mr Chong at his place for about 14 months. But as a member of the church, she also frequently slept there.

In the week before the incident, Lim had been harassing Mr Chong, alleging that the latter was having an affair with Ms Leow.

On the night of March 5, Mr Chong drove to the church at Valley Road, off Upper Serangoon Road, to pick up Ms Leow.

He arrived at about 9.15pm and Ms Leow showed up with Lim about 15 minutes later.

Lim suddenly threw an umbrella at Mr Chong, who dodged it. He then removed his shoes and challenged Mr Chong to a fight.

Mr Chong replied that he did not want to fight, but he wanted Lim to stop calling him on his phone, and to stop abusing him with an expletive.

When Lim then went to the storeroom and returned with a small knife, Mr Chong threw a fire extinguisher in his direction to prevent him from getting too close.


Lim then tried to jab the knife at Mr Chong's stomach. As Mr Chong ran off, Lim threw the knife but missed him.

He then grabbed a kitchen knife with a 20cm blade and a pair of scissors from the kitchen and chased Mr Chong, who ran and hid behind a pillar.

Lim threw the knife at him but missed again.

Mr Chong then ran out of the church and called the police. He later said he had sustained a small cut on his hand.

The police recovered the kitchen knife at the scene.

Lim's lawyer under the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme, Mr Josephus Tan, told the court on Monday that Lim suffers from age-related macula degeneration, a severe eye condition, and is going blind.

He added that Lim requires help to move around. A church pastoral member had accompanied Lim to court.

Lim lost his mother during the Japanese Occupation and was abandoned by his father at a young age after his father remarried, Mr Tan said.

He was later taken in by the founding pastor of the church to be its caretaker. The pastor has since died.

Mr Tan added that the church has said it will continue to let Lim live on its premises.

In 2012, Lim was fined for criminal intimidation. He had also committed crimes such as robbery in the 1960s to 80s.

He has since sought help from the National Addictions Management Service of the Institute of Mental Health for his drinking problem, which had contributed in part to his earlier offences, Mr Tan said.

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