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TOC Developing Story: Fleshing out the NTU stabbing incident

On the evening of the stabbing incident, TOC spoke to residents from David Widjaja’s hall and colleagues of Associate Professor Chan Kap Luk, who was alleged to be the victim. We will continue to provide timely updates on this story 

Updates (4 March 2009): According to a Singapore Police Force press release, investigations are still ongoing. It is not known who is the aggressor. A spokesman for the SPF declined to reveal any more information about the alleged assault, at least not until investigations are complete.   

Story by Terence Lee and Darren Boon

A final year NTU student allegedly stabbed a professor before falling off to his death from the linkway between two blocks on Monday morning.    

It is believed that David Hartanto Widjaja, 21, from the Electrical and Electronic Engineering (EEE) school, stabbed Associate Professor(A/P) Chan Kap Luk, 45, from the same faculty. The incident happened at Block S1A at about 10.35am in the morning.     

David Widjaja was pronounced dead on the spot while Prof Chan is receiving medical attention at the National University Hospital and is said to be recovering well.   

According to a Singapore Police Force press release, investigations are still ongoing. It is not known who is the aggressor. A spokesman for the SPF declined to reveal any more information about the alleged assault, at least not until investigations are complete.

Prof Chan “pleasant, nice and knowledgeable” 

There is no official word on the motive of the stabbing.  However, A/P Chan was the supervisor for Mr Widjaja’s final year project titled ‘Multiview acquisition from Multi-camera configuration for person adaptive 3D display’.   

Mr Widjaja had been a President of the NTU Electronic Sports Club.  

In the profile listed by the university, Prof Chan obtained his PhD in Robot Vision from Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, University of London, London, United Kingdom in 1991.   

TOC spoke to a colleague of A/P Chan, Professor Ma Kai-Kuang, a fellow lecturer in the EE 4490 Multimedia Systems course.  He described Prof Chan as having a “good reputation, and pleasant, nice and knowledgeable”.  

Deceased was “carefree” but kept to himself in hall 

24-year-old Arts student Joel Tan stays in the same NTU Hall just three rooms away from David. He was not aware that David stayed on the same floor as him, until two MyPaper reporters came by to ask him about the occupant of the room three doors down.  

“I knew a couple of my neighbours, but not him. He probably to kept to himself a lot,” he said.

While most rooms in NTU are shared by two people, the rooms on David’s  floor only had single beds, so he did not have a roommate.

On the night of the incident, TOC approached four students who lived on the same floor as David, but none of them had met him before.

According to a blog by Muhammad Taureza, who spoke to one of David’s friends, Widjaja was known to his friends as “Ming Ming”. He noted that Widjaja ‘has been known as a carefree student by some of his peers’, and an avid player of World of Warcraft.   

In Taureza’s blog, one of his friends observed a slight change in Widjaja a week before the stabbing when he ceased contacting his friends, though Taureza’s friend didn’t go into details.   

David's body has been identified by his parents, who had flown in from Indonesia.

Read also: Breaking News: Prof stabbed, student dies at NTU 

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Picture from the Straits Times.

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