©The Star (Used by permission)
By Tunku Shahariah R. Surendran
SUNGAI PETANI: Quiet sobs were heard at a ward at the Strand Specialist Hospital here yesterday as doctors switched off the life support machine which kept lawyer N. Selvamani alive for the past 48 hours.
When she was pronounced dead at 11.50am, her husband R. Balabedha, son Sri Chandra, 29, and daughter Sri Pracha Nanthini, 25, clung to each other and softly wept.
Together with scores of relatives and close friends, they were outside the intensive care unit when doctors took Selvamani off life support.
Her body was taken back to their home at Kampung Tunku Putra, Kilang Lama, in Kulim, in a private hearse after a post mortem at the Sungai Petani Hospital.
She will be cremated at the Berapit Crematorium in Bukit Mertajam at 2pm today.
Three days ago, two men barged into her office in Jalan Asaad at noon and attacked her with a parang and an axe.
Selvamani, 49, was in the office with a clerk and a 79–year–old office assistant.
She sustained serious head injuries and lost consciousness.
The office assistant was also injured in the attack and was admitted to the Kulim hospital.
The clerk escaped unhurt and called for help.
Selvamani was transferred to the Strand Specialist Hospital at about 4pm on the same day and was placed on life support.
On Wednesday, her nephew said she had received several threatening calls prior to the attack.
Investigating officer Insp Mohd Redzuan Salleh from the Kulim police headquarters said the case has been classified as murder.
Kulim OCPD Supt Abdul Majid Hashim said police expect to make an arrest soon and have not ruled out revenge as the motive for the attack.
He hoped that Selvamani’s family would cooperate with police in the investigations.
Sri Chandra, who last saw his mother on the morning of the day she was slain, said she was never known to have enemies.
Balabedha, a senior lawyer who owned the firm where his wife was slain, said they had been married for 33 years.
“We’ve been married for so long. She was everything to me,” he said.