The Curious Case of David Widjaja

This case of David Widjaja Hartanto is driving me crazy. This whole week I have been in constant barrage of information and request for comments from friends and even family about this case. Wow.

This loss of life must be shocking and we, people who share common bond with David albeit weak and small, share our deepest condolences for David's family.

Today I received an email containing a letter which supposedly was written by Klemens A., David's friend. Seems that this letter (in Indonesian) has fallen into many hands so I won't post it here. I will translate portions of this letter that fascinate me most, and have my say.

My subjective opinion and recent development are also added.

Note: I am an NUS student with Indonesia nationality. So bias is inevitable. Also note the disclaimer at the bottom of this post.

About the slit in the wrist

From the letter:

1. Released by Media that David had attacked Professor Chan Kap Luk, then have intention to suicide by slicing his wrist , from where that the news come from. What they purpose to publish false news mentioned that David had slashed his own wrist?

It can simply be the fault of the media. An easy formula to fame is to make sensational gossips.

It is also possible that NTU or the police specifically asked the media to write that as a preliminary speculation. Everybody involved was in the state of panic then.

More from the letter:

2. When David’s family arrived in Singapore on Monday 2th March 2009 at night after the incident, Family wanted directly to recognize David’s cadaver however there are certain parties not allowed them. They said that it’s already the rule, so family tried to be cooperative even at the utter shocked moment. When Family had been allowed to recognize David’s cadaver after waiting for one day, nevertheless Family only can see David’s cadaver from neck until head, while others part had covered with plastic even they had asked to open the plastic and wanted to see his entire cadaver. Family had confirmed to Singapore police there is no wound on his wrist and at that time family also found there were many plaster on his front neck (neck under chin).

I guess there is a protocol saying that in the case of suspected murder case, all evidences must be thoroughly gathered before publishing them. The corpse might be considered as evidence and so must undergo autopsy before showing it to family. This rule may be fake and non-existent.

I cannot find the law regarding autopsy for Singapore, but from what I know, before autopsy the police needs to (1) let family and close friends identify that the corpse is really David, and (2) obtain written permission from the family. News say that an autopsy had been performed before the corpse was cremated but there is no evidence for that.


6. David’s family had been prevented to meet with Professor Chan Kap Luk with reason that at that time he was still in ICU. However Professor’s condition had been stable since Tuesday and allowed to return home on Wednesday, mentioned by Singapore media. However until today I never heard his statement towards this tragedy.

Patients can be in the ICU for only one day. ICUs are expensive because it needs 24/7 attention so once a person does not need "intensive" care he/she will be released to regular ward. But it is still weird because the prof must be very weak and must stay in the hospital. Maybe someone mistook ICU from emergency unit/department?

The tools of trade

11. The tools that had been found to stab the Professor is fruit knife without handle. Where is the handle? Is it possible to stab someone using knife without handle? Who stab who still been unknown, and the handle should be found. However there isn’t formal specify explanation about this case.

If this incident was premeditated, one of the party may have considered that fingerprints would be a disadvantage. Therefore he might have thought of a way to dispose of the handle of the knife.

Was David stressed and snapped out?

I personally do not believe that it is the motive.

I went through the olympiad thing up till national level. Although I cannot say the pressure of an international olympiad, I can say that olympians (huh?) all have a good sense of stress management. They have faced a lot more hurdles in life than ordinary students. There are obviously times where the world seems to be coming to an end... but no, we don't snap out.

But then we are not total genius either. His field is mathematics right? How similar is mathematics to electrical engineering? Quite close but maybe not close enough for David. That's probably why he cannot reach 3.5 CAP.

Also the CAP computation is cumulative during 4 years of study. Therefore achieving very well or very bad in the FYP won't adjust CAP that much.

Justlimz in his blog also mentioned things that convinced me that "snapping out" is very unlikely for this person.

Did someone plan to murder David?

Recent news about a suicide by a project officer in NTU is completely revealing. And guess what, the project officer worked in the same lab David and Prof. Chan was working!

This is truly a tremendous development of the case. Prof. Chan, Mr. Zhou, and David was working in the same lab for about a semester! It seems that Mr. Zhou just started working on the day of incident (Monday). Why did Mr. Zhou commit suicide?

Mr. Zhou might know that the professor, the university, the government (whoa?) or some other third party had planned a murder for David. I didn't know who would want to murder a scholar from Indonesia studying in Singapore with olympiad background (scarily, I and some of my friends fall under this category). But if Mr. Zhou knew and cannot prevent the plan to happen, he might be in extreme sense of guilt deserving suicide (that's what he thought).

It might also be the case that Mr. Zhou only knew it later that someone had planned the murder and he was threatened that he will be murdered if he told the police. This also may give extreme sense of guilt deserving suicide.

Also, Mr. Zhou might felt that David's death was due to him (because he know something we don't know). So he wanted to repay by suicide.

It is also possible that Mr. Zhou is employed to replace David. If the professor really wanted to take over David's project he need one more person for the research. Maybe Mr. Zhou discovered this and decided not to stain his life any further in this dark conspiracy?


People like to play detective.

Haha... kidding :) Considering all the information I know this is what I believe happened. Remember this is purely speculative and may not be true at all.

  1. Prof or David called for a meeting at Prof's office.
  2. Prof made statement that provoke David to attack. OR David made statement that provoke David to attack. OR there was a third party.
  3. Prof or David incidentally had a knife and used it to defend himself.
  4. They somehow struggled and wounded each other.
  5. David realised that if he was found out, he would be in severe disadvantage (maybe because the Prof is in higher position or he wounded Prof first). So he ran away holding the knife.
  6. Just outside the office he realised that the knife had fingerprints so he somehow removed the handle (how???). OR the Prof got hold of the knife and removed the handle. OR there was no knife in the first place, it is just lying around there. OR a third person removed the handle.
  7. David continued to run away in a state of intense panic and blood loss. He fell down because of panic and dizziness.
  8. See the section about Mr Zhou's suicide.




"This is truly a tremendous.

"This is truly a tremendous development of the case. Prof. Chan, Mr. Zhou, and David was working in the same lab for about a semester! Why did Mr. Zhou committ suicide?"

According to Straits Times (from NTU's statement):

"He joined NTU as a Project Officer on Monday, 2 March 2009."

Yup I saw it... the post has.

Yup I saw it... the post has been corrected. Also added one more thought. Thanks :)

The one challenge we faced,

The one challenge we faced, however, was figuring out what items people would like. Would t-shirts be all the rage? Or would mugs be on the top of our Expert Authors’ wish lists? Or perhaps mouse pads would be the item of choice. Frankly we had no way of knowing.


Any updates on this issue? news circulating in jakarta saying that the prof has been detained for killing david. anyone can confirmed this news (gossip)? Thanks

In a recent study done by.

In a recent study done by Brown University, people trying to lose weight by eating prepared meals lost an average of 31% more weight than those who made their own meals.This makes sense - when all the work is done for you, it's easy to stick to the diet plan and lose weight!

Leon ya.... ternyata...

hahaha. Leon ya... ternyata diem2 ngeblog masalah ini :p Lukito would be so proud of you! (esp. you used the subject title of his e-mail for this post. lol)

Anyway, yea, I agree that this case is indeed getting more and more mysterious.

Apparently according to ZZ left a letter:

"The deceased hanged himself using a black colored plastic bag. The police found a letter at the scene. The deceased’s family had been informed and they will fly from China to arrange for his funeral."

However I am doubtful they will release the content of the letter to the public. Even if they do, I don't think it'll be anytime soon (hope I'm wrong).

Oh, and I really regret how ST as a professional newspaper is very bias in reporting this case :( Today they released a piece about lonely foreign students in Singapore and associated it with David Widjaja's case!

What's more they even stated that:

"Widjaja, who had had his Asean scholarship revoked, cut off all communication with friends two weeks before his death."

HMMMMM. ALL COMMUNICATIONS??? ALL is a strong word to use. It implies that David made NO contact at all with his friends. I thought his friends said he was still online on forums, facebook, and MSN shortly before the incident? Doesn't that count as a form of communication? :( :( :(

I just think ST should know better not to form any public opinions on this case, where there are still many uncertainties.

hahah.. yahh.. makes us wanna.

hahah.. yahh.. makes us wanna question the credibility of ST once again ;p

When you are evaluating the.

When you are evaluating the different options available to you, start by looking at any thing that has been outlined regarding what you are expected to wear for the event. This will help you to narrow down your selection to only those dress shirts that are going to meet the criteria, and allow you to make a smart purchase. 

oh oh oh. one more thing i.

oh oh oh. one more thing i felt was strange! hmmm according to kaskus the prof's wound was on his lower back? i thought the prof was sitting on a high-back chair! so could it be possible for david to inflict the wound on his lower back if it was well protected by the chair? strange. and verryyyy interesting (Lukito tone: on)

Super simple. Prof could just.

Super simple. Prof could just be leaning forward in the chair, exposing a large part of his back.. duh.

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Maybe because now open-house period so NTU silence the media so as not to hurt enrolment.

What on earth do you mean by.

What on earth do you mean by spices added?? Enjoy? Is this now a gossip that people take pleasure in discussing about?

It is one thing to post your opinion and the developments.

But to call it for Recreational purpose ? Its a grave issue and a fellow batchmate - how can the matter be slighted like this?

It is disappointing to see this kind of treatment to the matter.

By "spices" I only mean that.

By "spices" I only mean that I add my subjective opinions regarding the matters I present.

I never intended to dwarf the issue to mere gossiping that we take pleasure on. By putting "enjoy" and "recreational purposes" I meant to soften the tone of my article. I don't want the article to sound too authoritative --- this is a sensitive issue where I don't have sufficient authority. Nevertheless, some people eg. you may misunderstand this so I changed my wording.

What I mean by recreational is not something like walking at a park, playing video games, or being sedated by drugs. I think some people do take pleasure in seeking justice or sympathising with people. (wow people do read disclaimers nowadays)

Forgive me if you mistook them for something fishy or unacceptable.

(PS: I'm not his batchmate, I'm currently a first year student. And I'm not from the same high school as David.)

Leon Hebat!

Le... masih inget gw ga?
Lo sih gokil bgt...
Gw lagi nyari2 info tentang kasus ini trus dapet 1 link yg bagus...
Gw mikir gini, "Wah yg bikin hebat juga... Siapa ya?"
Eh... ternyata elo...

Salut... please, give me more update ya!
Anak2 Indo di Seattle lumayan panas sama nih kasus...

Mana bisa lupa sih... Haha.

Mana bisa lupa sih...

Haha masa tulisan gw sebagus itu sih :D Iya kalo ada update bakalan dipost di sini jadi ditunggu aja :)

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About the knife.

Hi, about the knife, what I heard from one of prof in NTU (I believe him), prof come out from office first, with a knife in his hand (not in the back, and not sure with the handle). After around 2 seconds, David come out and go to opposite direction. :o)

Hmmm, this is a very bold.

Hmmm, this is a very bold statement. Did the professor saw what happened? Or did Prof. Chan tell this professor what happened? Do you have any evidence (eg. news post) regarding this?

Never EVER post "what I heard.

Never EVER post "what I heard from" or "he said" or "based on gossip"!
David is gone, but he surely will not be forgotten.
RIP David.

Pingback. [...] lebih jelas mengapa kami merasa kematian David janggal, silakan baca blog2 dan forum berikut: (1) The Curious Case of David Widjaja | Leap On!, (2) http: // (3) http://manusialempung. blogspot. [...]
wuahh kasus nya membludak..

wuahh kasus nya membludak.. habis ga msk akal x yach.. ^^v

for student of NTU, be careful ya.. jgn jd korban berikut nya.. wkkwkwk

the only thing I believe that.

the only thing I believe that Singaporean people are very KIA SU.. they don't want public judge them as a killer university.. I reckon there is something weird about prof's behavior.. he must have somethings secret to david that Singaporean government will keep it secretly to public..


I Was following one of the.

I Was following one of the Indonesian forum community about this case, which is quite complete.. and they tried to investigate this seriously..
you should have a look..

they have pictures, updating news about this case..

most of them speak BAHASA, but you can try to translate by using google translator..

RIP David....

why there is no statement from our government (Indonesia) regarding this case??? President SBY, we need your statement and action.....

I beleieve...

One more thing...
I do believe that there is conspiracy of Davicd case!!!!!
Only two possiblities, first; the coward prof wants to steal David project and second; David was sexual abused victim of the coward prof....

Rest in peace.

Yes, as everyone who heard about this case, I think there is something weird about this. Based on my knowledge and information about the location of prof's stab wound, that wound did'nt so critical that needed to treated in the ICU. Everyone who knows what ICU really are, will agree with it. It's approved by the news that the prof get out from the ICU only in 2 days. I hope this case will be investigated until the truth revealed.


this is very disaponiting!!!!

i think if NTU want its name CLEAR, NTU must be more honest!!!!

tell the truth,, say sorry,, don't be a coward!!!

singapore has very strict law,, where is that now?????

please don't tell Singapore did this just because NTU is a great asset for Singapore country...

if you are more honest,, brave to say sorry and tell the truth, we will more appreciate YOU THAN A DAMN HELL LIERRRRR!!!!

Kalo kepolisian singapura dan media masa singapura sengaja menutup2i kejadian ini,,
kenapa nggak media masa dr indonesia aja yg kesana menyelidiki...????
trus bikin deh investigasinya, sebar luasin ke lewat TV dll,
tegakkan keadilan bt sesama orang indo...
klo media massa indonesia berhasil memulihkan nama baik David Hartanto, toh media massa itu pasti jd terkenal,
untung sama untung,

ayoooo metro tv, tv one, kompas, dll, lanjutkan investigasi ini.......

lindungi Hak Asasi Manusia,,, jangan mau kalah ama Singapore, negara cm sekecil jempol kaki ajahh!!!!

jgn mau dipermalukan hai Indonesia,, harus bisa bela warga negara sendiri....


I dont want to make any judgments, but its clearly that something went wrong because its happened on 2nd March but until now no official statement from Singapore police department... at least they have to inform the progress of investigation!!!

one more thing... Zhou was found dead as suicide!!! he came from same university and same division, same laboratory, joined as project officer on 2nd March (the day David die) and found dead after 4 days David die, its weird isnt it??? if its true that he was suicide, what if he was homicide????

From my point of view, Singapore media information also involved in this conspiracy, because if they did their job in professional, they would not writing like that before got official statement from the authority....

ntu please dont be coward!!!... chan cap luk if you are really professor please dont be a coward!!!... please tell the truth!!!

President SBY, tolong jangan sia-siakan anak bangsa yg telah di zalimi sama bangsa keparat itu... tolong turut campur dalam penanganan masalah ini... please!!!
Bangsa kita sudah terlalu banyak yang di zalimi di negara lain padahal mereka kesana untuk bekerja, sekolah dan bukan sebagai gypsi atau pembuat onar...

Indonesia and China.

Indonesia and China Government should work together to find the truth of this case. 2 person life has gone. I hope singapore government brave enough to tell the truth to the world what had happened in NTU.

RIP David.

Pingback. [...] ini adalah blog atau forum yang membahas perkembangan David Hartanto Wijaya: 1. 2. 3. [...]
Yea,,,i agree with you.

Yea,,,i agree with you all.
Where is our government?
Hey, Indonesia.
Jangan mau jadi kambing congek.
Ada 1000.000. anak jenius di negeri mu, tapi kau malah tak mendukung-nya,
mana janji-janjimu SBY/JK untuk berpihak pada rakyat, jangan cuma dukung BLT,doanks, jangan sok bilang "Kami yang membangun negeri dengan kekuatan kami sendiri"<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Bener, tuh: Pers Indonesia jgn diem, ada emas yang belum disentuh tu,
But why, why, the are a lot of golden, but there is'nt touch it?
Or maybe there some politic party or someplan,huh?

Why Mr.SBY, don't say anything about the truth of this situation?
And Why Mr.JK, don't say anything too, about it?
I think If they say about it (The truth), there a lot of people will appreciate and join the group.

Tapi, W yakin klo dah selese ini kasus dan kita tahu kebenaran sesungguhnya, pasti ada aja orang atau organisasi(partai) yang mengklaim bahwa itu adalah keberhasilan mereka, padahal kerjanya cuman sok ngomong di depan pers bahwa kasus in progress.
Yeah , i think you all know who is i mean?

Y,I will send it to our government, especially for Mr.SBY!

May David Rest In Peace. Dan.

May David Rest In Peace.
Dan semoga kebeneran akan segera terungkap.

Gimana kalo kita boikot ajah singapura.
Orang2 indo kita minta jgn pernah belanja lagi ke singapura.
kira2 mereka pada mau gak ya???


After reading several article related to David's casen I do agree that there's something fishy. Especially what david's project is all abt.May he rest in peace and guide his family to claim unfair if it's true tht he was murdered instead of suicide

tegakkan keadilan!!!! ^,^v .

buat pemerintahan indonesia dan china jgn mao ditipu sama singapore tuhhh..

hasil berita dari sana boonk semua.. takut nama baik tercemar..

sebenarnya sangat disayangkan kl seorang chan kap luk tuh bergelar prof.. jgn2

smua penelitianya hasil rebutan.. sangat jelas!!! ^.^

mudah2an smua nya berjalan dengan baik..

buat keluarga korban harap bersabar dan iklas sm yg diatas ^^v

peace on.."

ambassador should go home.

The best thimg to do is to call back our ambassador home.. Shut down all operation. Just park our battle ships arround singaporean water and let nothing in or out. I'm furious.. Just send a few people and whack the bloody profesor. End of story

Hope .

Rest In Peace, David.
I think Indonesia's government will do nothing..
They don't have braveness..
Singapore will do everything to close this case.

Or maybe its possible if Indonesia ask some help from United nations.
But I dont think it happen..
Just hope, the truth come out..
God will help us..

Greedy people are like that.

Greedy people are like that. Jealoused because you are not as smart as some people out there that doesn't mean you have the rights to "murder" someone. When its meant to be yours, it'll be yours. No point doing "dirty actions" just to take something away from somebody.
And to some singaporeans, stop calling us indonesians students as indonesian maids because not all indonesians are maids okay!

kasus nya sudah terungkap,

kasus nya sudah terungkap, siapa yg salah udah jelas.
trus gimana nasib project nya, jangan2 bakalan di klaim sm dosen2 yg laen.
mudah2an enggak

David's Suicide Case.

obviously this is a murdered case, 34 injuries found at the body of David which aren't suspected as the fallen from the high's placed, to be a common people and to be frankly, from the first until now the investigation are not coming to the bottom case which surely those injuries were a tortures to gaining some or very important secret/information as mostly ruined in military. May God blessing David's family found the truth.


Hello Leon,

I chanced upon this blog and I like your writing style. Keep it going!

Personally, here are my subjective thoughts:
1. It is really really weird to have two deaths in a span of less than a week, both from the same Laboratory. I am 99% sure they are related, there's only 1% chance that they are coincidental, maybe less. The key to the link could be the letter that Mr. Zhou left behind (if there really is such a letter).
2. Mr Zhou's family seems to have chosen to accept that he committed suicide, like what the mainstream media here reported. However, most Chinese blogs in Mandarin, and I can't read Chinese characters. So it'll be interesting if someone can try to look for similar blogs related to Zhou's death in chinese blogs (and translate it to english, of course :P)
3. Whether David is murdered or committed suicide, at the moment no one can tell for sure. If a prof attacked me in his office (for whatever reason), my instinct will guide me to escape from the room and look for other students to protect me. Perhaps David was confused and climb onto the ledge to hide from the Professor? Yes, maybe... Now, let's say a professor provoked me bad enough and for some reason I lost control of myself in his office and attacked him. When the struggle ends, and reality check dawned upon my body and mind again, I would be scared... about my future... and then... But hey, I'm not David, and his thinking/instinct may be different from mine.

God Bless You DW.

Hayo di buka polling nya.. liat apa tanggapaan dunia hahahx.

sepertinya cukup rumit menemukan titik terang kasus ini..

buat org2 kaya di indonesia jgn plih universitas disana lagi ntar anak nya

jd korban juga.. emank situ mau??

Stay away from Singapore! .

Stay away from Singapore. The island is run by tyrant. There ius no rule of law in Singapore. Wake up.

if you are considering to study in Singapore DON'T. Go somewhere else!!!

Singapore is a fascist country. You are not protected in Singapore by their law since they have practically no rule of law. It's either you're in the camp of Lee Kuan Yew or not.

Is this a FUD (Fear,

Is this a FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) campaign?

There IS rule of law in Singapore. Robbers are caught, (modern) pirates are fined, citizens have equal status regardless of race etc. Perhaps you meant that Singapore lacks democracy and transparency?

I didn't think that the political ideology of a government is a prime factor in deciding where to study. If it were, students would be flocking to Indonesia just because it is a democratic country.

I am the person you are looking for.

Why donot you just go crazy by yourself?
If there is somebody who may have killed David Hartanto Widjaja, then that person is ME !! Yes, you underatsnd correctly! It was ME, who killed David. Please report to David's dad + family and to all Indonesians who are supporting the conspiracy theory. I am going to make a public confession. I will explain to everybody, why I murdered David on Chan Kap Luk's behalf.

Road to truth.

Road to the Truth can be found at the following address:
(Attention! It is not the ad of the site - it is the ad of the Truth).

Pingback. [...] [...]

Gimana keberlanjutan kasusnya nih?
Gw belum update beritanya.
Semoga kebenaran terkuak se-kuak-kuaknya amin.

Sebagaimana diperoleh dalam awan petir .

Pembenaran yang paling dasar melalui meskipun ini sedang memanas membuat publik dari Miscellanea panas , kotoran , terjadinya juga dapat melayani front atmosfer dan banyak lagi .

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