Snatch-theft victim's sister: How could passers-by do nothing?

Investigating officer Wong Yeut Oon grieved with the victim's sister, Lay Yong, over her death.

GEORGE TOWN - The sister of a snatch-theft victim, who lay unconscious on the road while seven people walked past, called the passers-by "heartless" as she decried their inaction, The Star reported on Wednesday.

CCTV-camera footage showed Madam Tan Kim Chuan, 60, lying on the road for about seven minutes at the Rifle Range flats in Penang on Tuesday morning.

Madam Tan was walking alone in the residential estate, when her handbag was snatched by a motorcyclist. She fell and knocked her head on the road, cracking her skull.

At about 6.10am, three good Samaritans lifted her to the side of the road and called for an ambulance.

She succumbed to her injuries nine hours later, at Penang Hospital.

"Those who saw her should have done something, the least they could have done was shout for help," her sister, Lay Yong, 63, said at the hospital mortuary on Wednesday.

"How could they have just walked by? I am angry but what can I do?"

She said Madam Tan was on her way to the family-owned coffee shop in Carnarvon Street.

The victim would take the bus every morning to help out at the coffee shop.

"My sister was the sort of person who would not hesitate to help others. The snatch thief who did this to her was heartless," she said.

The George Town Assistant Commissioner, Mr Gan Kong Meng, urged the public to help police in catching the suspect.

"As we are unable to be everywhere at the same time, we value the information from the public, especially from those who may have witnessed the incident," he told reporters, after paying his last respects to Madam Tan at the Mount Erskine funeral parlour.

He also advised the public to always offer help to those in need.

"A swifter response could have saved her life," said Mr Gan.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the state government would present certificates of recognition to those who helped Madam Tan.

"I am very disappointed with those who just walked away," he said.

A Rifle Range resident who wanted to be known only as Mr Beh, 77, was captured on camera footage walking away from the victim.

In an interview with the Chinese press, he said he had intended to help, but was too frail.

He said: "Initially, I thought she was a suicide victim.

"I couldn't help her, as I myself need a walking stick. I approached others nearby to call for an ambulance and to help her."

He insisted: "I didn't just leave her."


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