Can love lead to desperation then, to murder?
From a planned wedding two weeks away with no money to spend for it, 26-year-old Malaysian Ahmad Muin Yaacob assaulted his supervisor at Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal using a pair of grass cutters, took her gold jewellery and fled to Malaysia.
This is how the prosecution presented the narration of events on Tuesday (Sept 17) at the opening of the trial.
Yaacob allegedly stabbed his supervisor, 54-year-old widow Maimumah Awang, on Nov 24, 2016 at a storeroom in the terminal, before stealing her jewellery, dumping her body in a drain and flew back to Malaysia, where he got married as planned.
Prosecution’s version of the story
Ahmad Muin worked as a cleaner at the terminal for CSP Maintenance from October 2016 with a monthly salary of S$1,100, under the supervision of Madam Maimumah.
Based on the prosecution’s narrative, Mdm Maimumah maintained a cordial relationship with the four cleaners under her care and often lent them money and bought food for them.
She lent Ahmad Muin money as well and allowed him to sleep overnight in the storeroom at the terminal as she took pity on him after learning that he has nowhere to sleep in Singapore.
But, “the accused repaid her kindness in blood”, said the prosecutor.
In the weeks before the incident, CSP operations executive Roslan Tamain told Ahmad Muin that he would terminate his employment and work permit to cut costs.
Begging for work and money for the wedding
Ahmad Muin was scheduled to wed in Kelantan on Dec 9, 2016, and was expecting to return to Malaysia on Nov 28, 2016, for the wedding’s preparations.
Because of this very important event in Ahmad’s life, he begged and pleaded with Mr Roslan to let him continue working until he found another job as he needed money for his wedding.
His request was granted and soon began borrowing money from his co-workers and from Mdm Maimumah.
According to Deputy Public Prosecutor Kumaresan Gohulabalan, Ahmad Muin attacked Mdm Maimumah while they were alone in the storeroom at the terminal. He thrust the blade of a pair of grass cutters into the woman’s chest, as the woman slumped to the ground and gasping for air, she pleaded with the cleaner not to kill her.
But despite her pleas, he stood above her and hit her head with the grass cutters, pushing her back down with his leg when she tried to get up and struck her repeatedly on the head with the weapon.
Ahmad Muin then took the two gold necklaces and two gold bracelets his supervisor was wearing and pulled her body to the side of the drain outside the storeroom.
He pushed her into the drain after removing the drain covers and replaced the covers as he did not want anyone to find Mdm Maimumah.
He then left the scene with the woman’s jewellery and Samsung Note 4 phone.
The wedding and the arrest
Ahmad Muin fled to Johor using a taxi and a bus. Once in Johor, he sold one bracelet for RM1,000 (S$330) and pawned the other jewelry for RM7,500.
He then set aside RM6,000 for dowry and gambled some. He got married as planned on Dec 9, 2016, but the Royal Malaysian Police caught up with him several days later. He was taken back to Singapore and charged with murder on Dec 19, 2016.
The accused later admitted that he killed Mdm Maimumah, saying he attacked her with the grass cutters, stabbing her chest with the blades and hitting her on her head with “all (his) might.”
An autopsy report found bleeding on multiple areas of her skull, with the cause of death certified as bleeding due to a stab wound to the neck, with head injuries.
On Tuesday, Mr Roslan took the stand as the prosecution’s first witness and told the court that he had known Mdm Maimumah for 14 years.
The trial continues. The prosecution intends to secure evidence from 56 witnesses.
If found guilty of murder beyond the reasonable doubt, Ahmad Muin will get the death penalty.