Thursday, March 5, 2009

Student lost study award

Widjaja kept his parents in the dark
By Sujin Thomas

Widjaja was given a teary farewell at the Mandai Crematorium.

THE Nanyang Technological University student who stabbed his professor and later fell to his death on Monday had his scholarship revoked just two weeks ago. An NTU spokesman confirmed in an e-mail statement to The Straits Times yesterday that David Hartanto Widjaja's Asean Scholarship was terminated last month.


However, Widjaja kept his parents in the dark about it, despite having had frequent conversations with his mother over the past fortnight. On Monday, the 21-year-old knifed Associate Professor Chan Kap Luk, 45, in the back during a discussion in his office, then slit his own wrists before fleeing and falling four floors to his death.

The Indonesian Embassy's First Secretary, Mr Yayan G. H. Mulyana, told The Straits Times: 'From what David's mother told me, he had always said that there were no problems with his scholarship.' Most of his friends were also in the dark. Many who were interviewed yesterday said they thought he was doing well in his studies.

'I didn't know that he had lost his scholarship. We never expected him to do something like this,' said one, a fourth-year mechanical and production engineering student who refused to be named. Yesterday, Widjaja was given a teary farewell at the Mandai Crematorium.

In attendance were his parents and elder brother, who flew in from Jakarta on Monday evening. About 100 NTU students and staff, including the university's president, Dr Su Guaning, also attended the short Buddhist funeral ceremony.

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