TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) apologized to Malaysia Saturday (Oct. 31) for the alleged murder of a Malaysian student by a Taiwanese suspect.
The 24-year-old woman surnamed Chung (鍾) went missing on Oct. 28 during a walk to her dormitory at Chang Jung Christian University in Tainan City. Police later arrested a suspect surnamed Liang (梁), 28.
Liang confessed he had abducted, sexually assaulted, and killed the young woman, according to media reports Saturday. As he had run out of money, Liang reportedly pawned his victim’s phone to pay for gasoline on his way to dump her body in the Kaohsiung City district of Alian.
Allegations surfaced that Chung’s abduction might have been the perpetrator’s third attempt. A first attack failed, while on the second occasion he lay in wait in a dark spot near a railway viaduct but nobody appeared.
At a national security meeting Saturday morning, President Tsai offered her apologies to the victim’s parents and to the people and country of Malaysia, CNA reported. Chung’s death had damaged Taiwan’s international image, and the country needed to reflect on shortcomings in the protection of social order, she said.
The interior minister and national police chief traveled to Tainan later in the day, while measures are being discussed to increase safety for foreign and other students at the nation’s universities.
Chung’s parents, who live in the Malaysian state of Sarawak on the island of Borneo, traveled to the capital Kuala Lumpur before planning to head to Taiwan on Sunday (Nov. 1). Her father said he had been looking forward to traveling to Tainan next year to attend his daughter’s graduation.
The parents told reporters they wanted Liang to receive the most severe punishment, which in Taiwan means the death penalty.