A female patron threw a bowl of hot noodles at a Tiger Beer promoter over a passing remark, as she thought it was an insult directed at her.
G Radha Govindasamy, a 51-year-old Malaysian, was fined $3,000 on Wednesday (16 January) by the State Courts after she pleaded guilty to one count of doing a rash act to endanger the safety of 32-year-old Chua Chiew Theng.
As a result, Chua, also a Malaysian, sustained first-degree burns.
The court heard that on 4 May last year, Radha, who is a Singapore permanent resident, had packed a plastic container containing Hokkien prawn noodles before joining a friend at a coffeeshop at Block 166 Woodlands Street 13.
While Chua was pouring beer for the friend, Radha, who works as a hawker assistant in Whampoa, threw the open container at her.
Prior to the incident, Chua had walked between Radha and a Bangladeshi man before saying loudly in English, “Two hundred dollars can on already”, according to Radha’s lawyer, Low Chun Yee. Radha then saw the Bangladeshi man glance at her, the lawyer from Kalidass Law Corporation added.
“(Radha) understood it to mean that Chua meant that (my) client will sleep with someone for a price of $200. This was an affront to our client’s dignity,” Low said.
Provoked by the statement and in a fit of anger, Radha threw her noodles at Chua, Low added.
The hot noodles landed on Chua’s body. She was conveyed to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (“KTPH”) where she was found with first degree burns over her upper chest. She was given one day of medical leave.
While the prosecution sought a fine of $3,000, Low urged the court to impose a $1,500 fine, saying that his client had been provoked by Chua.
Noting that Chua’s injuries were not serious, Low added, “Chua’s remark was an affront to our client’s dignity. She had no right and no reason to pass such a remark.”
Deputy Public Prosecutor Ho Lian-Yi noted that Chua’s comments may not have been directed at Radha and that its meaning was also unclear.
District Judge Marvin Bay said the “mere passing of an ambiguous remark” enraged Radha to commit a “vicious assault”.
For committing a rash act and endangering the safety of another, Radha could have been jailed up to one year and/or fined $5,000.
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