SINGAPORE — A mandatory treatment order (MTO) suitability report was called for Singaporean singer-actor Mohamad Aliff Aziz after he pleaded guilty on Friday (7 August) to one charge of theft in dwelling and disorderly behaviour, both committed last year.
District Judge (DJ) Victor Yeo called for a suitability report for the community-based sentencing option after the prosecution said it did not object to it as well, having seen a psychiatric report on Aliff produced by Raffles Hospital on 15 June this year.
An MTO, which lasts up to 36 months, is given to those deemed to be suffering from psychiatric disorders, so that they can undergo psychiatric treatment instead of serving jail time. Upon the successful completion of the MTO, offenders will not have a criminal record for the particular offence.
Aliff, 29, will be assessed by an appointed Institute of Mental Health psychiatrist, who will then submit another psychiatric report to the court.
He will return to court on 14 September for his sentencing.
In calling for a suitability report for Aliff, his lawyer, Murali Pillai, said that a private psychiatrist had indicated that the singer-actor’s prospects of being rehabilitated were “reasonably strong”.
The report also stated that Aliff had been suffering from a psychiatric condition, which was assessed to be one of the contributing factors to the offence, and that he was susceptible to treatment. His mental disorder was not revealed in court.
Apart from the two offences Aliff pleaded guilty to, one charge involving stealing a packet of Marlboro cigarettes and a lighter, valued at a total of $15.60, from a man at a Starbucks outlet in Plaza Singapura mall on 6 August 2018 will be taken into consideration for when he is sentenced.
On Thursday, Aliff appeared in court in person dressed in a white long-sleeved shirt and black pants.
Stole money from Indonesian celebrity
The court heard that Aliff met Indonesian celebrity Raja Yunika Perdhana Putri, 32, at around midnight on 7 June last year at her hotel room at Studio M Hotel, Nanson Road, in order to discuss how she might help him further his singing career in Indonesia.
A while later, she went to the second level of her hotel room to rest and left her handbag on the first floor.
While the woman was resting, Aliff stole $300 and 1 million rupiahs (S$93.70) from her handbag and left the hotel room. He changed the rupiahs to Singapore dollars and spent the money on food and transport.
Raja Yunika found the money missing when she woke up at around 3am. She called Aliff, who denied the offence. She lodged a police report later that day.
“The accused subsequently admitted that he had stolen the money from the complainant’s handbag during the incident time as he was in need of money,” said Deputy Public Prosecutor Sarah Siaw.
Aliff has since made $400 restitution to Raja Yunika.
Rowdy behaviour at Orchard Towers
On 10 November last year, the singer-actor got into trouble again after he was found drunk and behaving in a disorderly manner outside of Orchard Towers.
Two police officers on duty at Orchard Towers saw a commotion under a link bridge at about 5.30am. Aliff, who was intoxicated, was seen shouting and gesticulating while surrounded by a crowd of people, some of whom were trying to calm him down.
The officers approached Aliff to calm down, and he complied. As Aliff walked away, the two officers followed behind to keep an eye on him.
At about 6.25am, they spotted Aliff behaving in a rowdy manner again, as he kicked the left front portion of a taxi. The taxi was not damaged. This time, Aliff did not heed the officers’ instructions to calm down. He later ran into an acquaintance on the street and got into a scuffle with him.
Aliff was then placed under arrest.
The incident was filmed and later shared online, where the video went viral.
Aggravating factors raised by DPP
According to the prosecution, Aliff’s only criminal record is for theft with common intention for which he was fined $2,000 in 2014.
DPP Siaw said she would reserve its sentence to after the suitability report was prepared.
DJ Yeo then asked lawyer Murali to submit on alternative sentences should a mandatory treatment order report not be called for. Murali replied that he was seeking a short jail term for Aliff’s theft offence and a fine for the disorderly behaviour.
However, DPP Siaw then raised several aggravating factors, including how Aliff had abused the trust placed in him by Raja Yunika and caused her considerable inconvenience, given that she was a foreigner who needed money to provide for herself while she was in Singapore.
Aliff’s rowdy behaviour had also caused considerable disruption to the public and the police officers.
For theft in dwelling, Aliff may be jailed up to seven years and fined. For disorderly behaviour, he may be failed up to six months or fined up to $2,000 on a first offence.
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