Xu Jin Lai and his wife Fang Qiong Ying found themselves in a dire situation back in 2002 – straddling a difficult financial situation while trying to provide their sons with a quality education that will guarantee a great future for them.
Their only option, in the face of their plight, was to send the teenage boys to reside with their affluent uncle, Koh Kim Teck who lived in Malaysia. Koh, who was a cousin to Xu Jin Lai, had promised to cover the boys’ expenses, including their education fees.
In 2002, Xu Jian Huang, then 12 years old, along with his brother, Jian Fei, then 14, travelled to Malaysia where they lived with their uncle in his villa located in Ampang Hilir.
Koh was a Datuk Seri and director of a stockbroking firm at the time.
Both brothers attended an international school, but Jian Fei made the decision to go back to China after a year for unknown reasons. Jian Huang, however, remained at the school and pursued his studies.
The tragedy occurred on September 26 2004, the following year when Jian Huang was found dead in a pool at Koh’s residence. All signs pointed to foul play as his body was reportedly covered with bruises, and his limbs were restrained.
Police subsequently detained Koh, his Sabahan bodyguard Resty Agpalo, and driver Mohd Najib Zulkifli, who were then 50, 32, and 24 years old, respectively. The case, of course, was classified as murder.
All three men were charged with the crime a fortnight later. Koh also lost his Datuk Seri title as a result of the charge; just one year after receiving it. It was ultimately annulled by the Pahang royal palace.
The 36-day trial saw 39 witness statements, one of which claimed that Jian Huang was subjected to physical assault and torture after Koh suspected he stole RM30,000 from him.
Jian Huang suffered 23 injuries, including bruises on his forehead, lips, right forearm, right leg, left pectoral, and several scratches on his right arm, which were discovered by a forensic pathologist. He claimed the injuries were not self-inflicted and that they were caused by blunt items.
Dr. Aung, the 28th witness for the prosecution, also stated that homicidal drowning was a likely cause of Jian Huang’s death, noting that the swelling on Jian Huang’s foot came as a result of both his legs being tied very tightly with rope.
Additionally, he claimed to have discovered clear fluid in the boy’s stomach and determined that his last meal was taken six hours prior to his passing.
Koh’s failure to appear in court resulted in at least four postponements of the appeal. Koh’s attorney Datuk V. Sithambaram had displayed a medical record from his patient attesting to his hospitalisation in China.
Koh’s girlfriend, 27-year-old Fang Sui Jing reportedly defended her former boss and lover during a press conference in Beijing. Prior to her deportation before the trial, Fang served seven months in prison for overstaying.
She alleged that during her imprisonment, she had been exposed to cruel treatment, namely being compelled to perform naked squats, and that Koh had been pressured into “changing her cautioned statement to implicate Koh in the murder.”
A year thereafter, at the conclusion of the trial, the three men were found not guilty of the crime when the court determined that the prosecution had left many open questions. Judge Datuk Abdul Kadir Musa disclosed the ruling in his 49-page judgment.
The prosecution was said to have failed to offer substantial proof indicating that any one of the defendants harboured an intent to murder Jian Huang.
Following that, Koh became withdrawn and was never seen or heard from again. The verdict was maintained by the higher courts notwithstanding an appeal from the prosecution.
In 2009, the chairman of non-profit organisation was detained when it was believed that he solicited for a RM1 million bribe to “solve” the case.
According to authorities with the Anti-Corruption Agency, the 57-year-old suspect in the corruption probe was apprehended after reportedly receiving the first payment of RM500,000.
Around 4pm on Wednesday, the suspect received the check at the Selangor Coast Club on Jalan Kapar. After the culprit accepted the check, ACA police entered the scene.
As per information obtained, the suspect had already made plans for the victim’s father, Xu Jian Lai, to travel to Malaysia and attend the court hearings. Additionally, according to sources, the suspect contacted a murder suspect and proposed to “settle” the matter for RM1 million.
Xu Jin Lai, who was a construction worker at the time, had arrived in Malaysia in October 2005 in attempt to aid and hasten investigations as well as to conduct prayer sessions for his son.
The family has vowed to pursue justice and apprehend those responsible for Jian Huang’s death; but for now, the tragic case remains among the slew of Malaysia’s unsolved crimes.