Pung Chen Choon, 65, of the New Sabah Times found himself lying on a bed at Queen Elizabeth Hospital 1 (QEH1) with a swollen face and broken denture after waking up about five hours later from the sudden attack. Pic by NST

KOTA KINABALU: A nightcap with friend turned into an unfortunate event when a local daily chief editor was assaulted by an unknown motorcyclist at a petrol station in the wee hour, on Saturday.

Pung Chen Choon, 65, of the New Sabah Times found himself lying on a bed at Queen Elizabeth Hospital 1 (QEH1) with a swollen face and broken denture after waking up about five hours later from the sudden attack.

Prior to the attack, the senior journalist recalled meeting a colleague over coffee at the Lido square food centre here and left for home at about 2am.

“I wasn’t drunk. I drove towards QEH1 and turned to Jalan Harrington, where a motorcyclist suddenly appeared. The person was following me and teasing me, as if trying to race.

“The motorcyclist was also making a (drinking) gesture several times. I reached a roundabout and drove around three times. He continued to follow me until I made a stop at a petrol kiosk in Jalan Kolam,” he said when met at the hospital.

Pung said he had parked his car at the payment counter, adding the motorcyclist had stopped near the air pump machine.

“I couldn’t really remember but I guess I’ve got out from the car, approached him, and asked why he was following me. The motorcyclist didn’t say anything, but he went ahead to hit me. The next thing I know, I found myself in the hospital.

“I was told the police contacted my son and that I was found lying unconscious there,” he said.

Pung denied that the attack could be due to issues related to work, and suspected his attacker to be high on drugs.

“The police had come to see me and we will leave the investigation to them. At the moment, I am still dizzy but otherwise fine. The doctor said I can be discharged (soon) and advised me to rest,” he added.

Meanwhile, district police chief Assistant Commissioner M. Chandra said the case is being investigated under Section 324 of the Penal Code for voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means.

“Based on preliminary investigation, there is only one suspect involved. The motorcyclist is believed to have grabbed his helmet and hit the victim on the face.

“Motive of the attack is still unknown. We will be looking at closed-circuit television footage if there is any,” he said.

KEYWORDS

attack, assault, editor, petrol station, New Sabah Times, Pung Chen Choon

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