Malaysian Who Escaped Gallows in Singapore Still in a State of Disbelief

SINGAPORE: “I woke up this morning, my hands were shaking,” said Beh Chew Boo, a Malaysian who was acquitted of all five charges of bringing drugs into Singapore, and escaped the gallows.

Bernama had the opportunity to meet the 38-year-old man from Penang on the second day of his release and it appeared that he has yet to accept the reality that he had been acquitted of all the charges.

Beh, who was sentenced to death by the High Court in early 2020, escaped the noose in October after a three-judge panel of the Singapore Court of Appeal accepted his appeal.

On March 2, the same panel of judges – Sundaresh Menon, Tay Yong Kwang and Steven Chong – also set aside the prosecution’s application to impose four lighter charges on Beh.

The panel made a 2-1 decision in Beh’s favour.

“Imagine for more than four years I slept in prison but last night I was in a hotel bed. It’s like this,” he said while opening his hands to describe it as “heaven and earth”.

The jovial father of one never stopped expressing his appreciation to his lawyer who also helped manage the documentation involving his return trip home.

Wong Siew Hong of Eldan Law LLP is also providing temporary accommodation for Beh at a hotel, clothing as well as expenses until all his return arrangements are completed.

Asked if he felt relieved, Beh did not answer directly but he stated that he knew how it felt if people talked about the moment of waiting for death.

“I was once sentenced to death by hanging. Only we who go through understand the feeling of counting the days until that time arrives,” he said.

“Death will definitely happen to all of us even outside the prison but you do not know when. But we know and have to deal with that feeling,” he said.

Asked on his plans after returning to Penang, Beh admitted that he felt very “awkward”, especially about the changes in technology after being locked up in prison for about 52 months.

“Too many changes. I feel like I’m in another world. Some cashier looked at me with a strange face as I tried to make a payment in cash. They asked if I had a cash card,” said Beh.

Beh also showed his mobile phone that he used four years ago which needs updating on its operating system as some applications can no longer be used, including WhatsApp and WeChat.

“I also need to adapt to all the rules related to Covid-19,” he said, while asking the writer what is the latest situation in Malaysia.

Beh was arrested in October 2016 for allegedly trying to bring in no less than 499.97 grams of methamphetamine from Malaysia at the Woodlands Checkpoint.

He entered the republic on a motorcycle belonging to his friend which was registered in Malaysia.

The seized drugs contained no less than 742.82 grams of crystal powder, which after analysis, was found to contain not less than 499.97 grams of methamphetamine.

Beh in his defence had claimed that he did not know there were drugs in the motorcycle’s storage compartment.

He is expected to return to his hometown, Batu Kawan, Penang, on Thursday (March 11). – BERNAMA

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