Gambling caused divorce, says sister of murder victim
Sister of woman killed in ITE car park says she was a faithful wife, and describes her as loving, caring person
She believed her sister was a faithful wife and alleged that her former brother-in-law fabricated stories about her "infidelity" in an attempt to get money to repay his gambling debts.
Mrs Stella Dumont was choking up yesterday when she spoke about Ms Low Hwee Geok, who was fatally stabbed by her ex-husband in a carpark at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College Central campus in 2018.
On Wednesday, Seet Cher Hng, 69, a retiree, was sentenced to life imprisonment.
He was convicted of a reduced murder charge by the High Court, after he indicated that he would not be contesting the charge.
But Mrs Dumont is unable to find closure just yet.
Speaking to The New Paper yesterday, the 62-year-old housewife said: "Seet said my sister had an affair but that is not true. He was a gambler and had debts. That led to my sister filing for divorce."
The court heard that Seet believed he did not receive his fair share of the sales proceeds of a condominium unit in Corporation Road which the couple had jointly purchased while married.
Between 2011 and 2018, he made numerous demands through e-mail to Ms Low for a sum varying from $200,000 to $500,000 as his share of the proceeds as well as "compensation" for the alleged infidelity.
But Mrs Dumont claimed that before the couple's divorce in 2011, Seet had taken out money from their joint fixed deposit account without Ms Low's knowledge to pay his gambling debts.
"We were aware of his gambling problems when some of us sisters were on holiday in Macau with Hwee Geok and Seet in 2008," she claimed.
"She told us he was in the casino the whole time. It was then that Hwee Geok spoke about his gambling habits and mounting debts."
The couple married on April 7, 1993, and were divorced on June 13, 2011. They had a daughter together.
The court had heard, in mitigation, that Seet had "spent many years trying to persuade and reason" with Ms Low so that he could recover his retirement funds and spend his final years "with some dignity".
At the time of the murder, Seet was retired from his job at ITE Headquarters and had been relying on monthly Central Provident Fund payouts, the court heard.
Ms Low, 56, was divisional director of the examinations division at ITE College Central.
But the judge said the matter raised in mitigation was irrelevant to sentencing.
Mrs Dumont refuted Seet's claim, adding that Ms Low arranged a meeting with him two years after their divorce to hear his concerns and settle the financial disputes.
She said: "I was present. We went through the statement of accounts prepared by Hwee Geok and proved to Seet that the distribution of the sales proceeds of the condominium were correct, which he did not dispute.
"So his subsequent claim that he did not get a fair share... is not valid."
Mrs Dumont's husband, Mr Victor Dumont, 63, a businessman, said Seet made claims that he needed money for his retirement.
"In actual fact, he had spent all his money gambling, had nothing left and needed money from my sister-in-law," he alleged.
Referencing the numerous e-mail demands that Seet sent to Ms Low between 2011 and 2018 for his share of the proceeds from the condo sale as well as "compensation" for the alleged infidelity, Mr Dumont said it made his sister-in-law feel "mentally tormented".
On the day of the murder, July 19, 2018, Seet drove a car he reserved through a car-sharing site to the ITE campus and accosted Ms Low at the carpark.
He stabbed her multiple times, then stabbed himself 13 times before collapsing on top of her.
Mrs Dumont said she is now the legal guardian of her sister's daughter. She declined to share more about her.
Tearing up, she described Ms Low, the second youngest of eight sisters, as a caring and loving person.
Mrs Dumont, who is the third youngest, said: "She got along well with everyone and was such a good person. I was close to her. In fact, the two of us went on a trip to Bangkok a couple of weeks before her death."
Recalling the phone call informing her of her sister's death, Mrs Dumont said: "I was in shock and my mind went blank. How can anyone ever be prepared to hear such news about their loved ones?"
Fighting through tears, she added: "Not having her here is so painful. It is like something is missing from our family, from us sisters.
"We miss her so much, and we hope to get some closure now that the truth is out."