President apologizes to Malaysian family over daughter's death

10/31/2020 10:01 PM
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Parents of the killed student. CNA photo Oct. 31, 2020
Parents of the killed student. CNA photo Oct. 31, 2020

Taipei, Oct. 31 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Saturday apologized to the family of a Malaysian student murdered in southern Taiwan, and also to the people of Malaysia over the incident that took place this week.

"The president expressed her deepest apologies to the family of the student and the people of Malaysia," according to Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang (張惇涵).

The incident seriously tarnished Taiwan's image as a safe and friendly nation, and exposed problems in Taiwan's society that must be thoroughly reviewed so as to ensure that such a tragedy does not occur again, Tsai said during a high-level national security meeting in Taipei.

Meanwhile, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) also extended his apologies on behalf of the government, pointing out that he has instructed the relevant agencies to assist the victim's family in dealing with the aftermath of the tragedy.

The 24-year-old student, surnamed Chung (鍾), of Chang Jung Christian University in Tainan was reported missing by the school on Thursday morning.

Footage captured on CCTV cameras showed her walking by herself along a railway overpass near the school at around 8 p.m. Wednesday before she was reported missing.

Through the CCTV footage, police found and arrested a suspect surnamed Liang (梁) on Thursday on suspicion that he had abducted the student near the university.

Liang later confessed that he had strangled Chung with a length of rope and dumped her body in the mountainous Alian District in neighboring Kaohsiung.

Based on his confession, police were able to discover Chung's body.

According to the Tainan police, at least one other Chang Jung University student has reported to authorities that a man also tried to abduct her in that same location on Sept. 30. However, it was unclear whether the suspect was the same man.

On Saturday, the Ministry of Education asked the school to provide an explanation as to why it failed to warn their students about safety when police brought up the issue with the school through its campus security report center in September.

The ministry said it will conduct a thorough investigation and will hold relevant personnel accountable.

Also that day, Chang Jung Christian University President Lee Yung-lung (李泳龍) apologized to the victim's family for the school's failure to prevent the killing.

Liang was detained for voluntary manslaughter and sexual assault and the case is now in the hands of the Ciaotou District Prosecutors Office in Kaohsiung.

According to prosecutors, the suspect confessed to raping Chung before strangling her.

On Saturday, the victim's father told CNA that he wishes to see the criminal sentenced to death so as to send out a warning to others.

(By Chen Chih-Chung, Yang Sz-ruei, Yu Hsiang, Hung Hsueh-kuang and Ko Lin)


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