Man jailed for slapping elderly SMRT employee after being told not to drink on platform

Wan Ting Koh
Reporter
Singapore state courts (Yahoo News Singapore file photo)

A man who slapped an elderly SMRT employee after being told to stop eating and drinking on the platform at Raffles Place Station was jailed three weeks on Friday (30 November).

Shafuan Juraimi, who works as a mover, admitted to one count of voluntarily causing hurt to SMRT Service Ambassador Gian Cheng Kuan, 69, on 25 June.

The 22-year-old had been in the vicinity of Raffles Place to pack certain items before taking the MRT train with his colleagues.

After buying some sandwiches and drinks from a 7-11 store, Shafuan and his colleagues entered the station gantry at about 7.32pm. As the group were waiting for the train, they began eating their food while on the platform.

However eating and drinking within station premises is against SMRT regulations. Gian, whose duty was to usher commuters and enforce the regulations, spotted the group and said, “Excuse me, no eating”. The group kept their food but Shafuan opened up his drink.

When Gian told Shafuan that he was not allowed to drink, Shafuan slapped the SMRT employee on the cheek.

Shafuan then said, “I am really thirsty. Why I cannot drink? If I die, how?” The train soon arrived and Shafuan boarded it with his colleagues.

Gian felt pain on his cheek in addition to swelling and giddiness. He sought medical treatment and was given two days’ medical leave.

Shafuan was arrested after he was identified through enquiries on the ground and closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Tang Shangjun said that the assault was unprovoked and had taken place during peak hour traffic.

Shafuan also had previous brushes with the law. He committed robbery with hurt and was given probation in 2011. He was later sentenced to reformative training after committing further offences, including theft in dwelling and house trespass.

Shafuan apologised to the court and promised to “mend (his) ways”.

However District Judge Mathew Joseph chided the accused for his “deplorable” actions, saying that Gian was “old enough to be (his) grandfather”. “Yet you have no respect for him. Is that how you were brought up by your parents?” asked the DJ.

In reply, Shafuan admitted that he had problems managing his anger.

For voluntarily causing hurt, Shafuan could have been jailed up to two years and/or fined a maximum $5,000.