Muhammad Shahdam Junabi was walking along Bayfront Avenue when he spotted what he thought was a group of Malay people. When they failed to reciprocate his greeting, he made a comment that angered three men in the group, who then assaulted him.
Tan Chun Ming, 24, who was one of the three co-accused who set upon Shahdam, pleaded guilty in the State Courts on Monday (8 January) to one charge of voluntarily causing hurt to Shahdam by punching and kicking the victim’s face and body.
The court heard that Shahdam, 25, was heading towards the floating platform at Marina Bay at about 2am on 16 February last year to meet some friends.
As he was about to cross the road towards the floating platform, Shahdam saw a group of people walking past him. Tan, Mohamed Nazrin Mohamed Bari and Muhammad Nurshahid Ahmad were part of the group.
Shahdam said to the group “Peace be upon you” in Arabic but they did not respond to his greeting. He then commented, “This one confirmed not Islam, just don’t mess with the wrong person and take care you guys, goodbye,” in Malay.
Angered by the comment, Nazrin, Tan and Nurshahid confronted Shahdam. Tan started the assault by first punching Shahdam in the stomach. Nazrin then punched Shahdam in the face and pulled him to the ground. The group then continued punching and kicking him.
The trio’s friends intervened and told Nazrin and Tan to stop attacking Shahdam. Nurshahid pulled Shahdam up and told him to leave. Shahdam then made a comment that angered Nurshahid, and Nurshahid punched him in the mouth.
The attackers and their group left the scene, after which Shahdam called the police to report the assault.
Shahdam later sought medical attention on the same day at the Singapore General Hospital. He suffered a fractured nasal bone, a minor head injury and a laceration of the lip, and was given seven days of medical leave.
For his role in the assault, Deputy Public Prosecutor Quek Jing Feng sought a jail term of at least 10 weeks for Tan, citing his culpability and the harm caused. DPP Quek pointed out that Tan started the assault and continued to kick and punch vulnerable parts of the victim.
District Judge Sandra Looi agreed with the prosecution’s assessment.
Tan could have faced a jail term of up to two years, a fine of $5,000 or both. Nazrin was jailed 14 weeks for his role in the assault while Nurshahid will be dealt with at a later date.
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