Company director jailed over death of Chinese tourists


KOTA KINABALU (Jan 17): A director of a travel tour and car rental company was jailed for a total of five months by the Sessions Court here on Tuesday for two counts of negligence that resulted in the death of four Chinese tourists that were on onboard a capsized catamaran in 2017.

Judge Noor Hafizah Mohd Salim meted out the sentence to Chung Ket Siew @ Chung Siaw Ping, 70, after the judge ruled that the defence failed to cast any reasonable doubt on the prosecution’s case.

On the first count, Chung was jailed for two months for causing hurt to 20 passengers, all from China, aged between 17 and 50, for allowing her son Leong Vin Jee, the company’s operations manager, to use the boat to go to sea so negligently as to endanger human life or the personal safety of others.

Chung was convicted under Section 337 of the Penal Code which carries a jail term of up to six months or a fine of up to RM1,000, or both, upon conviction.

Leong, 44, and boat skipper Sharezza Salian, 30, were found guilty of the same charge on March 1, 2019, and received their punishments respectively.

On the second count, Chung received another three months’ jail for negligently causing the death of four Chinese tourists, including two women, aged 27 and 49.

She was convicted under Section 304A of the Penal Code which provides for a jail term of up to two years or a fine or both, upon conviction.

The court ordered both the jail sentences to run concurrently from Tuesday.

However, Chung, who was represented by counsel Edward Paul, was granted a stay of her execution pending her appeal to the High Court here.

The court maintained her earlier bail, pending disposal of her appeal.

On July 18, 2018, another Sessions Court here had discharged and acquitted Chung from the two charges but upon an appeal by the prosecution against her acquittal, the High Court here had ordered Chung to enter her defence on both the said charges.

Chung was the sole witness for her defence.