Choo Kong’s murder, a blow to the country

A tremen­dous blow to Ari­ma and the rest of the coun­try.

That’s how Ari­ma May­or Lisa Mor­ris-Ju­lian de­scribed Mon­day’s mur­der of play­wright and award-win­ning pro­duc­er, di­rec­tor and ac­tor Ray­mond Choo Kong.

 

Choo Kong’s killing brought the num­ber of peo­ple who have been mur­dered in 24 hours to eight and the num­ber of peo­ple killed for the year to 280 and prompt­ed the Po­lice Ser­vice to call out all of­fi­cers to du­ty as it mounts an of­fen­sive to stem the tide of mur­ders.

Choo Kong, 69, was stabbed mul­ti­ple times to the up­per part of his body by a lone as­sailant at his Green Street, Ari­ma home.

His killer stole Choo Kong’s wal­let, a gold ring and a cell phone be­fore es­cap­ing.

Choo Kong would have cel­e­brat­ed his 70th birth­day next month.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors be­lieved the as­sailant climbed on­to the roof of an ad­join­ing busi­ness place and then in­to Choo Kong’s ve­ran­dah and made his way through an open door and con­front­ed him sit­ting on a re­clin­er.

Down­stairs housed Leroy’s Sports Bar.

Ganesh Ram­lal, the adopt­ed son of Choo Kong told re­porters that re­ceived a call from one of his broth­ers say­ing they found his fa­ther in a pool of blood “sit­ting on a chair in the liv­ing room” with the tele­vi­sion on.

For hours, cu­ri­ous on­look­ers lined Green Street which had been cor­doned off by po­lice of­fi­cers.

Sev­er­al Crime Scene In­ves­ti­ga­tors were al­so seen tak­ing pho­tog­ra­phers and look­ing for clues around Choo Kong’s ve­ran­dah.

Po­lice of­fi­cers al­so ques­tioned work­ers and own­ers of near­by es­tab­lish­ments.

Look­ing vis­i­bly shak­en, Mor­ris-Ju­lian who showed up at the scene ex­pressed sur­prised that the mur­der took place right be­hind the Ari­ma Po­lice Sta­tion.

Oblique­ly op­po­site is the Ari­ma Fire Sta­tion.

“This is not some­thing that we could re­cov­er from eas­i­ly be­cause Ray­mond Choo Kong was part of the Ari­ma fab­ric... and the Ari­ma land­scape.”

Mor­ris-Ju­lian said she felt “over­whelmed” that the life of a man whom she knew per­son­al­ly for years had been snuffed out.

“This is def­i­nite­ly not the news I was look­ing for­ward to. Ray­mond has al­ways been an in­spi­ra­tion to the cre­ative field. This is a tremen­dous blow. I am re­al­ly sur­prised any­one would want to hurt Ray­mond. He was a gen­tle­man.”

Try­ing hard to con­tain her emo­tions, Mor­ris-Ju­lian said she would ap­proach Choo Kong’s fam­i­ly to ho­n­our him posthu­mous­ly through the Ari­ma Bor­ough Cor­po­ra­tion.

“The bor­ough has ho­n­oured him be­fore,” Mor­ris-Ju­lian said.

Mor­ris-Ju­lian ranked Choo Kong to the late Hol­ly Be­taudi­er and Lord Kitch­en­er, two of Ari­ma’s icon and leg­ends.

“He made us proud with his Ray­mond Choo Kong pro­duc­tions. What he did for Ari­ma can­not be erased by bul­lets.”

Asked if the Cor­po­ra­tion would ap­ply pres­sure on the Ari­ma Po­lice to bring Choo Kong’s killer to jus­tice, Mor­ris-Ju­lian said the po­lice would have to put pres­sure on them­selves to solve this crime which has shocked the coun­try.

“I am ask­ing (cit­i­zens) to trust the po­lice and have faith in them. The po­lice can­not be blamed for the wicked hearts of men.”

The May­or al­so promised to pro­vide coun­selling to busi­ness own­ers who may be trau­ma­tised by the mur­der.

“Ari­ma is small when some­thing hap­pens to one it hap­pens to all.”

A long-stand­ing friend of Choo Kong, busi­ness­man Roger Be­lix said the sud­den news “sucked the life out of him.”

Be­lix said one of Choo Kong’s dream was to open an art the­atre or train­ing school for ac­tors and ac­tress­es in Ari­ma.

“That dream was nev­er ful­filled. Ari­ma has lost a re­al hero. For this crime to be right be­hind the po­lice sta­tion...it is not putting a good light on Ari­ma at all.”

For a man who script­ed com­i­cal plays, Be­lix said Choo Kong’s mur­der was no “laugh­ing mat­ter.”

Reporter: Shaliza Hassanali

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