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Crimes that shook the nation: Murder most foul

A couple’s dream of a good education for their boys dashed when one of them was found dead in swimming pool

17 Apr 2020 / 12:15 H.

AS PARENTS, Chinese nationals Xu Jin Lai and his wife Fang Qiong Ying wanted the best for their sons, mainly a good education that will ensure a bright future for the boys.

Not being well off, the only solution which came to their minds was to send the teenage boys to their wealthy uncle in Malaysia, who had agreed to fund their education.

Although it meant living apart, Xu Jian Huang, who was just 12, and his older brother Jian Fei, aged 14, arrived in Malaysia in 2002 and went to live with their uncle at his sprawling bungalow in Ampang Hilir, Kuala Lumpur.

Their uncle, Koh Kim Teck, who was a Datuk Seri at the time and a stockbroking firm director, is cousin to the boy’s father.

Both brothers were enrolled at an international school, but a year later Jian Fei decided to return to China. Meanwhile, Jian Huang stayed on and continued his education.

However, on Sept 26, 2004, Jian Huang’s future came to an end when he was found dead in a swimming pool at Koh’s house.

His limbs were bound and there were multiple bruises on his body.

The case was classified as murder and police picked up Koh, his Sabahan bodyguard Resty Agpalo and driver Mohd Najib Zulkifli, aged 50, 32 and 24 respectively at the time.

About two weeks later, all three men were charged with Jian Huang’s murder.

The charge also led to Koh losing his Datuk Seri title after it was revoked by the Pahang royal palace just a year after he had received it.

Among the testimonies heard during the 36-day trial, where 39 witnesses were called up, was the physical abuse and torture inflicted on the boy after he was accused of stealing RM30,000 belonging to Koh.

At the end of the trial a year later, Koh, Agpalo and Mohd Najib were acquitted of the crime after the court ruled that the prosecution had failed to clear many unresolved and unanswered doubts.

The court also said the prosecution had failed to provide any circumstantial evidence that the accused had a common motive to kill Jian Huang.

Koh became a recluse soon after the verdict and was never seen again, nor his whereabouts ever known.

The prosecution appealed against the verdict but it was upheld by the higher courts.

Jian Huang’s family had pledged to seek justice and bring the killers to book.

Jian Huang’s murder remains unsolved to this day.

Read the story in our iPaper:Murder most foul

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