President Tsai Ing-wen today apologized to the family of a Malaysian student who was sexually assaulted and murdered in Tainan City, October 28, and extended apologies to the country and people of Malaysia, adding that the incident did great harm to Taiwan’s international image.
The 24-year-old female student surnamed Chung (鍾) was reported missing Thursday, October 29, after failing to return home from the Chang Jung Christian University the previous night.
A subsequent police investigation led to the identification of a 28-year-old suspect named Liang (梁). Under police interrogation, Thursday evening, Liang admitted to abducting Ms Chung, strangling her to death, and dumping her body in a rural district of Kaohsiung City.
After further interrogation today, following a forensics report, Liang admitted to sexually assaulting Chung before killing her.
The tragic case has generated controversy over issues such as campus and social safety.
During the course of the investigation it was found that Liang had been responsible for an attempted abduction of another female student, September 30, at the same location – a poorly-lit roadway under an elevated section of railway surrounded by overgrown weeds, and just 300 meters from the university campus gate.
Criticism has been leveled at university administrators, city officials, and the police.
The Ministry of Education, today, issued a statement saying that Chang Jung Christian University had failed to comply with the school safety notification system after the September 30 incident, when a female student named Chen was grabbed from behind by a man now suspected to be Liang. Ms Chen was able to escape the abduction attempt by screaming and struggling.
According to United Daily News, Chen reported the incident to police at 9:00 pm September 30, and the incident was also reported to university administrators.
CJCU president Dr. Yung Lung Lee bowed in apology today at a memorial ceremony for Ms Chung held on campus today. Dr Lee apologized to Chung’s family, teachers and students, and society. Lee said he felt self-blame and the incident had shaken his confidence. Lee also promised to make campus safety his personal responsibility.
Despite having solved the murder case in just one day, questions have been raised about why police were not able to identify a suspect after the September 30 incident. The police department will conduct an internal investigation into the issue.
As for criticism of municipal authorities, students of CJCU have claimed that the street lights on the section of road where Ms Chung was abducted were not turned on at the time, China Times reported. One student took a picture of the street lights turned on last night, October 30, and uploaded the image to local social media site D Card, alleging that it is the first time in three years that he had seen the lights turned on.
Other news reports showed work crews sent by the Tainan City government repairing street lights and wiring yesterday, noting that local residents had said that four of five lights in a row were often out due to cable theft.
Other work crews were dispatched to clear weeds in the area, that some reports said were taller than a person.
Some media outlets noted that Taiwan’s reputation in Malaysia will be especially tarnished, as this is the second case of a Malaysian woman being murdered in Taiwan this year.
In January, 2020, a 25-year-old Malaysian woman was killed and dismembered in another shocking murder case in Taipei City.
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