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Parents of murdered Malaysian student suing Taiwan government for negligence

Chung's parents want death penalty for suspect, will demand extradition to Malaysia if execution not ordered

Last time Chung was seen alive. (Tainan Police Department image)

Last time Chung was seen alive. (Tainan Police Department image)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The parents of a Malaysian student who was raped and murdered in southern Taiwan last month announced on Monday (Nov. 23) that they are suing the Taiwanese government along with two Taiwanese organizations for negligence.

At a press conference on Monday, Yap Hoi Liong (葉海量), a lawyer for the family of the victim, announced that his clients will file a civil suit against Chang Jung Christian University (CJCU), the Tainan City Council, and the Taiwanese government for failing to take action that could have prevented the death of their daughter, a 24-year-old female identified as Irene Chung. Chung had been studying at CJCU in Tainan when she was strangled to death on Oct. 28.

Yap cited an incident perpetrated by the same subject one month prior that Chung's parents believe the authorities should have acted on: "About a month earlier on Sept 29, it was reported that another CJCU student had almost become the victim of the same suspect. If they had taken up that case, we strongly believe it would not have led to Chung's death," reported The Straits Times.

Yap claimed that Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) had admitted to Chung's parents that the authorities had been negligent in not properly pursuing the first case when she allegedly stated, "Because of our negligence, you lost your beloved daughter."

Yap handed out photocopies of Tsai's alleged statement and said, "Since the President had admitted negligence by her authorities, we can now proceed with the civil suit." On Oct. 31, Tsai officially offered an apology to the victim's family and Malaysia, saying the incident had greatly harmed Taiwan's international image and revealed that there is a "loophole" in the protection of social order, "which must be thoroughly reviewed."

The attorney added that the family has enlisted Taiwan Bar Association President Lin Jui-cheng (林瑞成) to file legal action in Taiwan. Yap said that the family wants the death penalty for the suspect and that they will demand his extradition to Malaysia if a death sentence is not handed down, reported The Star.

While walking back to her dormitory on the evening of Oct. 28, Chung was forced into a car by a 28-year-old man surnamed Liang (梁). Although he initially claimed he had placed a rope around Chung's neck to restrain her and had accidentally tightened it too much during the struggle, he later confessed to police that he had strangled the victim after sexually assaulted her.

Liang then stole Chung's mobile phone and credit card and dumped her body on a hillside in Kaohsiung's Alian District. He is currently in court custody being investigated for homicide (殺人罪) and aggravated forcible sexual intercourse (強制性交罪).

Liang's parents initially offered to apologize in person for their son's actions during the Chungs' trip to Taiwan to retrieve their daughter's remains. However, the Chung family reportedly refused to meet them face-to-face.

On Nov. 3, Liang's parents issued a formal statement through their borough chief (里長) apologizing on behalf of their son. In the statement, they expressed their wish for a swift trial and for their son to pay for his crimes by giving "a life for a life."