SINGAPORE — Upset that a credit-card promoter had asked about his nationality, a prison officer started to exchange blows with the man, punching him and giving him a high kick in the head.
For causing hurt to the promoter, Nur Azam Ab Rahman, 31, was fined S$2,000 by the State Courts on Thursday (May 18).
The court heard that on April 16 last year, Azam was approached by Mr Cheng Chin Lin, a direct sales officer with United Overseas Bank (UOB), at Tampines bus interchange.
Mr Cheng, 24, then asked Azam if he was a Singaporean or a Singapore permanent resident (PR), a usual question in his line of work.
Irked by Mr Cheng’s question, Azam shot back: “Do I look like a PR to you?”
After a brief exchange, during which Mr Cheng tried to calm Azam down, the latter rained blows on the promoter.
During the scuffle, Mr Cheng tried to hold on to Azam’s bag to prevent him from getting away, but that led to more punches and kicks from Azam. Mr Cheng’s handphone was also flung during the fight.
Video footage recorded by an eyewitness showed that Mr Cheng had Azam in a headlock, during which the latter repeatedly punched Mr Cheng’s stomach.
After Azam broke free from the headlock, he high-kicked Mr Cheng’s head, hit it a few times and grabbed his hair.
Mr Cheng was also heard in the video asking Azam: “I got attack you or not?”, and said he wanted to call the police.
The promoter told Azam to wait, and followed him as he walked a short distance away. That led to two more blows on Mr Cheng’s head before he put Azam in a headlock again. After breaking free, Azam hit Mr Cheng a few more times.
Their scuffle was later broken up by a bystander.
A doctor’s report showed that Mr Cheng suffered from abrasions and bruises on various parts of his body, including his face and forearm.
The Singapore Prison Service, Azam’s employer, will be taking disciplinary action against him, saying that it “takes a serious view of any act of misconduct by its officers”.
“All (our) officers are expected to uphold exemplary standards of discipline and personal conduct. Following Nur Azam Ab Rahman’s conviction in court today, (we) will commence disciplinary proceedings against him,” it said in a press statement on Thursday night.
Azam could have been jailed for up to two years or fined up to S$5,000, or both.