Boy killed by chair is now a murder case, say police

Muzliza Mustafa Ravin Palanisamy

Rubbish is seen on the awnings and floor at Block 102 of the Seri Pantai People's Housing Project in Pantai Dalam, Kuala Lumpur today. Police has reclassified the case of a boy killed by a falling chair at the housing project from manslaughter to murder. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Hasnoor Hussain, January 16, 2018.

THE culprit who flung a chair from the 21st floor of a low-cost flat in Kuala Lumpur, which killed a schoolboy, is facing a murder rap when caught, police said today.

Kuala Lumpur CID chief Rusdi Mohd Isa said the case, which was initially classified as manslaughter, has been reclassified as murder, with the suspect facing the mandatory death sentence.

Police said identifying the culprit will take time as the forensics units failed to lift any fingerprints from the chair which struck 14-year-old Satishwaran Sathiasilan, killing him instantly while he was with his mother yesterday.

“We did not get any fingerprints from the chair. We are working on other leads to track down the suspect,” Rusdi said.

He added that police have already started questioning the flat dwellers and the investigations will go on indefinitely.

Satishwaran was on the ground floor of the PPR Seri Pantai flats in Pantai Dalam with his mother when he was struck by the chair on the head yesterday evening.

The student of La Salle Brickfields in Kuala Lumpur was killed instantly.

A picture of 14-year-old Satishwaran Sathiasilan, who has been killed by a falling chair at the Seri Pantai Peolpe's Housing Project, Pantai Dalam, Kuala Lumpur. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Hasnoor Hussain, January 16, 2018.

His aunt, Vijayalaxhmi Sattayapan, laid the blame on Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) for the mismanagement of the flats. The PPR Seri Pantai flats comprise two 21-storey blocks.

Vijayalaxhmi said her family had for years lamented about the poor conditions at the flats, adding that DBKL was not concerned about the safety or maintenance of the blocks.

“They are prompt when it came to the rental. The rental here is RM124 per month. If anyone missed payments for two months, the officers would come to give notice and disconnect water supply.

“For them that is a bigger issue compared to safety of the people staying here,” Vijayakalaxhmi said between sobs while trying to come to terms with her nephew’s sudden death.

She said this was not the first time things had been thrown from the upper floors. She alleged that in the past, even bricks and broken pieces of furniture were thrown from the upper floors.

“This time it was a chair and it has claimed a life. I hope the authorities come to a quick resolution about this before something similar happens again,” said the housewife.

S. Sathiwaran's aunt, Vijayalaxhmi seen with his mother S. Kasthurivai at his house at Block 102 of the Seri Pantai People's Housing Project flats in Pantai Dalam, Kuala Lumpur today. Vijayalaxhmi is calling on the Kuala Lumpur City Hall to step up maintenance of the housing project to avoid future recurrences. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Hasnoor Hussain, January 16, 2018.

Sathiswaran’s brother Yogeswaran, 18, said that people in the flats will not learn from this and will continue to do the same, unless stern action is taken.

“People here will never change. They will keep throwing things from the corridor. They throw all sort of things, from rubbish, sanitary pads and even urine in plastic bags. Nothing will change unless the authorities teach them a lesson,” he said.

“Some residents are too lazy to throw the garbage in the disposal area located at the ground floor, so they leave it by the corridors.

“Today, that attitude cost my brother’s life because someone threw the chair which was left in the corridor,” the victim’s elder brother said.

“Sathiswaran is a very bubbly person. He is like a son to all the neighbours. No one can accept that he is gone in such a tragic manner. My mother witnessed the incident. She is traumatised.”

Satishwaran Sathiasilan's 18-year-old brother Yogeswaran consoling their mother S. Kasthurivai at the Seri Pantai People's Housing Project, Pantai Dalam, Kuala Lumpur today. Yogeswaran says residents had been disposing rubbish by throwing them down and authorities must teach those responsible a lesson. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Hasnoor Hussain, January 16, 2018.

Although the flats were recently given a fresh coat of paint, it was still poorly maintained as elevators malfunctioned, rubbish was strewn along the stairs, and there was the smell of urine in the stairways.

Vijayalaxhmi also alleged that Sathiswaran’s mother, Kasthuribai, 45, made several complaints about the condition of her unit to DBKL, but they were ignored.

“The bathroom door is broken, the walls are filled with cracks and if it rains, the water gets into the house,” she said.

Sathiswaran was supported by his mother who works at a restaurant and his brother who recently started working at a theater concession. His father lost his job as a security officer last month. – January 16, 2018.

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