Federal court commutes ex-hair stylist's death sentence to 40 years jail

PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court on Thursday (May 16) commuted the death sentence imposed on a former hair stylist to 40 years in jail for kidnapping and killing a sales girl, 16 years ago.

The three-member bench led by Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat allowed Teh Kim Hong’s review application to commute the death sentence under the Revision of Sentence of Death and Imprisonment for Natural Life (Temporary Jurisdiction of the Federal Court) Act 2023.

In the court’s decision, Justice Tengku Maimun said the death sentence imposed on Teh for the kidnapping and murder offences is set aside and substituted with 40 years’ jail to run concurrently from the date of his arrest on Sept 15, 2008.

Justice Tengku Maimun, who presided with Federal Court judges Datuk Zabariah Mohd Yusof and Datuk Abu Bakar Jais, also ordered Teh to be given 17 strokes of the rotan.

Teh, 37, was convicted and sentenced to death by the High Court in 2011 for murdering Lai Ying Xin, 16, at Lot 2841, Jalan Alor Bukit Kulai, Kulai Jaya, Johor at 12 midnight on Sept 11, 2008.

He was also found guilty and sentenced to death by the High Court for the second charge of kidnapping the girl in front of a Hypermarket in Jalan Kulai-Air Hitam, Kulai Jaya with intention to demand for RM60,000 ransom at 9.45pm on Sept 11, 2008.

He lost his appeals which were dismissed by the Court of Appeal on May 8, 2013 and by the Federal Court on Oct 19, 2015.

Teh was charged together with four others. Two minors who were found guilty by the High Court for the offences were ordered to be held at the pleasure of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong while another person was discharged and acquitted without his defence being called.

Teh’s lawyer K.S.Pang requested the court to substitute his client’s death sentence with imprisonment term saying that his client was remorseful and had apologised to the family of the deceased.

Deputy public prosecutor Dhiya Syazwani Izyan Mohd Akhir, however, asked the court to uphold the death sentence saying that Teh and his friend had also set the victim’s remains on fire.

Meanwhile, the same court panel also commuted the death sentence of a 73-year-old man A. Arokiasamy to 33 years’ jail for killing his sister-in-law S.Ganam, 39, in a car in Jalan Berjaya 8, Taman Perindustrian Berjaya, Tampoi, Johor Bahru between 9.30pm and 11pm on July 19, 2000.

Justice Tengku Maimun ordered Arokiasamy to serve his jail sentence from the date of his arrest on July 19 2000.

Lawyer Edmund Bon Tai Soon representing Arokiasamy said his client is suffering from heart condition, diabetes and vertigo. He added that Arokiasamy was unable to walk unassisted and is wheel-chair bound.

Deputy public prosecutor Noorhisham Mohd Jaafar urged the court to uphold the death penalty. – Bernama