SINGAPORE — The worker who claimed he lived in fear of his employer’s temper was simply waiting for a moment to “make use of police resources” so that he could leave his contract, his employer, Ng Aik Leong, told the court on Wednesday (2 December).
Ng Aik Leong, formerly a Mediacorp actor better known by the name Huang Yi Liang, maintained his stance that his employee, Bangladeshi Jahidul, would often fake forgetfulness “as if he were a child” and asked to be hit as part of his learning process.
Ng is contesting one charge of voluntarily causing hurt to Jahidul, who goes by one name, at the canteen of Singapore Islamic Hub on 11 December 2018. He supposedly used a metal scraper to hit Jahidul twice on his head and once on the abdomen.
Separately, Ng faces a charge of fighting with a man, Mogana Raj Saravanan, along Buffalo Road and hitting him on the back of his head with a mobile phone on 9 June last year. This charge has been stood down for the time being.
In his defence, Ng, who is unrepresented, alleged that Jahidul had let Ng hit him under an “agreement” and had in fact asked to be hit.
Ng alleged that the worker would sit him down in his office “three times” and reiterate seriously that Ng needed to hit him to help him remember the “important” things.
Seeing how serious Jahidul was, Ng eventually came to the conclusion that this was a form of “mental condition” for Jahidul.
He testified that ever since the issues of Jahidul’s salary and his wife suffering from fourth stage cancer cropped up, Jahidul “suddenly” told Ng that he had such a “weakness”.
“So (Jahidul) acted blur every day, and reminded me to hit him. He will tell me he’s sorry every day, and acted that he was very apologetic,” said Ng.
Ng agitated in court
However Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Chong Kee En argued that Ng had simply hit his worker out of anger and not because of any agreement.
The DPP played an audio clip before the incident on 11 December 2018 that captured Ng yelling Hokkien and English vulgarities at Jahidul.
He then argued that Ng had not been abusing Jahidul as a result of any agreement, prompting Ng to say through a Mandarin interpreter, “I disagree. He was the one who keep telling me to hit him.”
Referring to the audio clip, DPP Chong then said, “The fact that he had to go out look for help and crying shows that there was no agreement.”
Replied Ng, “Firstly, I did not see him leave. Secondly, we have this agreement he treated me as a good mentor and asked him to hit him in order to teach him he was very forgetful and he wanted me to help him progress. However, he was faking it as if he were a child.
“He was waiting for this moment so that he could make use of police resources to stop his contract and leave me.”
The DPP then put to Ng that he tried to abuse the victim physically before 11 December 2018, and that the incident with the scraper was simply a culmination of that abuse.
Ng responded, “I disagree. He was giving me this expression when I was hitting his face as if he was very sorry.”
DPP Chong then suggested to Ng that the latter was aware he had anger management issues and that he would resort to violence when he was angry. Ng disagreed with both statements.
At one point during the trial, Ng began reading out vulgarities in court as part of a transcript, prompting District Judge John Ng to stand down the proceedings for him to calm down. Ng apologised to the court and said he was very agitated.
The trial continues on Wednesday afternoon.
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