Man jailed for racist remarks on Indian in Singapore

Singapore, July 27, 2019-

A man in Singapore has been sentenced to four-week jail and fined 1,000 Singaporean dollars for racist remarks, insulting an Indian national working at the Changi Airport.

William Aw Chin Chai, 47, had also stepped on a foot of a woman who held the lift door open for him and also splashed noodles on two men at Singtel Shop Comcentre in two separate incidents.

He pleaded guilty to charges of hurting racial feelings, using criminal force and voluntarily causing hurt, Channel News Asia reported.

A fourth charge for stealing four mineral water bottles from a food court was taken into consideration on Friday.

The court heard that William Aw was jobless when he committed those offences on three different occasions in 2018.

On August 3, he was in a lift at Changi Airport Terminal 2 when the victim — 33-year-old Indian national Ramachandiran Umapathy who was working at the MRT (metro) tunnel — entered the lift. Soon, William Aw began uttering insulting words, the report said.

Umapathy filmed William Aw’s rant and posted it on the Facebook page of the Singapore Police Force. The video later went viral. The Indian man also filed a police report.

Over a month after this, William Aw was eating at Singtel Comcentre along Exeter Road when he picked up a bowl of noodle soup, walked over to two unidentified men and splashed it at them. The incident was captured on closed-circuit television, according to the report.

In January 2018, he injured a woman who had held a lift door open for him as he was rushing in. The court heard that after William Aw entered the lift at NUH Medical Centre, he stood near 49-year-old Wahida Abdullah and stepped on her left foot.

Abdullah sought medical treatment for the mild injury, before calling the police. The prosecution said the woman was an “innocent victim” and “in return for her kindness, he stepped on her foot”.

The prosecution asked for four-week jail and a fine of 1,000 Singaporean dollars. However, defence lawyer Siraj Shaik Aziz asked for a week’s jail for the offence of hurting racial feelings, saying it was not premeditated.

William Aw was remorseful, his lawyer said, and had pleaded guilty at the earliest instance.

For hurting racial feelings, William Aw could have been jailed for up to three years, fined, or both, the report said. He could have been jailed for up to three months, fined a maximum $1,500 Singaporean dollars, or both for using criminal force on the two men.

For voluntarily causing hurt to the woman, he could have been jailed two years, fined a maximum $5,000 Singaporean dollars, or both.  (Agency)

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