St James Power Station murder: Man convicted of assault

Nicholas Yong
Assistant News Editor
A second man in the St James Power Station murder case has been convicted. PHOTO: Getty Images

A 28-year-old man was convicted of assault on Tuesday (11 September) for taking part in an attack on two men near St James Power Station, which left one victim dead and another severely injured.

Shawalludin Sa’adon pleaded guilty at the State Courts to voluntarily causing grievous hurt. A separate charge of voluntarily causing hurt was taken into consideration for his sentencing.

Shawalludin was previously convicted of theft in 2016 and had also spent time in a drug rehabilitation centre for consuming morphine.

He was one of a group of four men who attacked Satheesh Jumar Manogaran, 35, and Naveen Lal Pillar, 29, near the St James Power Station nighspot on 12 March 2017. Satheesh later died of his wounds, while his cousin Naveen survived after being stabbed in the back of the head.

Defence lawyer Mato Kotwani asked for the case to be adjourned for several weeks in order to prepare Shawalludin’s mitigation plea. He told District Judge Kenneth Yap that the defence had “only recently been acquainted with the Statement of Facts”, as there were some issues with its first version.

Judge Yap granted this request, and the case will next be heard on 8 October. Shawalludin faces a prison term of up to seven years along with a possible fine.

Attackers part of secret society

The other three men involved in the attack are Muhammad Faizal Md Jamal, 23, then a full-time National Serviceman with the Singapore Civil Defence Force; Muhammad Hisham Hassan, 28, then an assistant restaurant manager; and part-time mover Muhammad Khalid Kamarudin, 22.

Shawalludin was a waiter at St James Power Station’s Postbar at the time of the incident. At the time of the assault, all four men were members of the “369” sub-group of the Sio Kun Tong secret society, which operates out of Toa Payoh Central.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Andre Chong told the court that the attack stemmed from an altercation between Shawalludin and Satheesh and his group of friends at Postbar at about 4.30am on the day of the incident.

Shawalludin, who was on duty at the time, had told the group not to place a liquor bottle on the floor, which resulted in a lengthy argument that saw the parties needing to be physically separated.

His supervisors then told Shawalludin to step out of the bar to prevent further misunderstandings. Feeling aggrieved, Shawalludin called Hisham and asked him to rally their fellow secret society members to confront Satheesh’s group. Hisham agreed and contacted Faizal and Khalid, who proceeded to Postbar.

Some time between 5.30am and 6am, Faizal, Khalid and Shawalludin confronted Satheesh’s group while they were walking to an Uber car. They then began stabbing, kicking and punching Satheesh and Naveen. DPP Chong noted that the attack took place in full view of Shawalludin, who was “unfazed” and punched and kicked Satheesh several times.

As it was closing time for most of the pubs in the complex, the attack was witnessed by a large crowd that had gathered in the vicinity.

Hisham was sentenced in January this year to 18 months’ imprisonment for harbouring Khalid. Khalid has been charged with murder and Faizal with voluntarily causing grievous hurt. Their cases are currently pending before the High Court.

In a related case in May, a full-time police national serviceman (PNSF) was jailed six years and two months and given five strokes of the cane for harbouring two of the attackers.

Muhd Firdaus Abdullah, 20, had pleaded guilty to one charge of harbouring an alleged murderer, one charge of possessing methamphetamine with the purpose of trafficking, one count of consuming the same drug and another count of possessing the drug.

Related stories:

St James murder case: Man jailed 18 months for harbouring suspect

St James Power Station murder: Two more men charged

Police investigating murder near St James Power Station