Friday, March 20, 2009

The Simple Truth?

March 14, 2009
Ex-cabby confined to IMH

A FORMER cabby who allegedly torched a Member of Parliament will continue to be remanded at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH).

Based on medical reports from an IMH doctor that Ong Kah Chua was of unsound mind and unfit to enter a plea, the court yesterday ordered the 70-year-old to be confined at the institute.

District Judge Jasbendar Kaur said the court would report Ong's case to the Minister of Home Affairs, who will then decide how long the accused will continue to be confined.

The minister will base his judgment on continuing reports from doctors.

Ong had allegedly set the MP for Yio Chu Kang, Mr Seng Han Thong, aflame during a community event earlier this year. Mr Seng, 59, suffered 15 per cent burns over his body, and had to be warded in hospital for almost a month as well as undergo several skin grafts.

Ong was also accused of setting Chu Sheng Temple chairman Aw Chui Seng, 69, on fire at the same event.

In court yesterday, Deputy Public Prosecutor Eugene Lee applied for the accused to be remanded in a mental hospital pending the minister's order after having earlier submitted a report from IMH's Dr Jerome Goh.

The doctor had diagnosed Ong as suffering from 'delusional disorder of a persecutory type' - in short, he feels that everyone is out to get him.

In court, Ong, who had his hands cuffed behind his back, asked - through a Mandarin interpreter - why he could not plead guilty.

The court explained that it was because of what was stated in the medical report. He then retorted that there was no basis for the report.


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