Singapore — When a National Environment Agency (NEA) officer approached two women smoking outside Lucky Plaza mall to issue them a summons, they hurled insults at the officer and demanded she “talks to rich people nicely.”
On Wednesday (Sept 8), Koh Lee Yen, 50, and Chee Kam Fah, 49, pleaded guilty to one count of using insulting words against a public service worker.
The women were fined S$3,000 each for their offences.
The incident, which happened on Sept 21, 2020, involved Ms Asyikah Suri Kamsari, who was on duty under NEA to carry out enforcement action against public health offenders.
Ms Asyikah spotted the two women smoking outside the designated area and approached them to issue them a summons.
As the officer recorded Koh’s personal details, the duo began their verbal abuse, reported The Straits Times.
The woman said insulting phrases like, “Your salary how much, one thousand only one month I think,” or “crazy girl, better go back and hug your pillow and cry, your salary not enough for me to buy a pillow.”
Chee was also reported saying, “Talk to rich people nicely, you’re a poor girl” and, “I tell you, you careful walk, fall down… don’t bang to the car” and “So what, pay only what, I got money (expletive),” reported Today.
Koh added, “You shut up and ask for IC… You poor forever, you know or not?”
The court heard that Chee took out a S$1,000 note and waved it in Ms Asyikah’s face.
Meanwhile, Koh told the officer to “shut up” and take the money.
The women’s actions were recorded on Ms Asyikah’s body-worn camera.
According to Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority records, Koh and Chee are shareholders and directors of jewellery retailer Gold Star Resources and own shares or positions in other companies.
The women, who did not have a lawyer, told the court that they were upset and under stress at that time.
Koh highlighted that the officer did not address two men who also smoked outside the designated area.
However, District Judge Jasbendar Kaur noted that their insults and behaviour towards the officer was of a different matter.
When the judge asked why Chee waved the bill around, Koh said they presumed it was possible to pay the summons on the spot.
State Prosecuting Officer Nasri Haron, noting the abuse was “calculated to insult and degrade,” asked for a fine of between S$3,000 and S$4,000 for each woman.
“The victim was merely doing her job,” the prosecution added.
For their offence, the duo could have been imprisoned for up to a year, fined up to S$5,000, or both. /TISG
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