Singapore MP set on fire in attack by 70-yr-old

A Singaporean member of parliament was attacked and set on fire on Sunday by a 70-year-old man who was angry at not being given a Chinese New Year gift, the country's state broadcaster said.

Singapore MP set on fire in attack by 70-yr-old

Seng Han Thong was taken to hospital with between 10 and 15 percent burns after the assault during a ceremony to present Chinese New Year gifts at a community club, Channel NewsAsia reported on its website.

The chairman of a nearby Chinese temple Aw Swee Seng, who organised the event, also suffered burns in the rare attack in the Southeast Asian city-state known for its safety.

"A man ran in, lit a bottle of kerosene and threw it at Mr Seng. Half of Mr Seng's hair was burnt ... his back suffered burns as well," a witness named Zhang was quoted as saying.

"The man who threw the bottle tried to escape, but some people caught him."

Temple officials said the man was disgruntled at not being selected to receive the hong bao, a red envelope with money traditionally given at Chinese New Year, which contained S$200 ($135), the broadcaster said.

Singapore was the first country in Asia to fall into a recession last year. It has one of the highest GDP per capita in the world, ahead of the United States on 2007 figures, but ranks alongside Kenya for income disparity.

The ruling People's Action Party (PAP), which has been in power since independence in 1965, says welfare should not be a crutch and there is no unemployment benefit.


Reuters

Last Mod: 11 Ocak 2009, 18:32
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