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Four jailed for scuffle outside MSL match at Jalan Besar

Four Malaysians sentenced to a week's prison for disorderly behaviour outside a LionsXII vs Johor Darul Takzim match on May 20. 

SINGAPORE: Four Malaysians arrested for disorderly behaviour outside Jalan Besar stadium have been sentenced to one week's jail.

Roslina Mohd Bakri and Raja Abdul Hadi Raja Rozhan, both 25 years old; 27-year-old Haridass Manoharan and 28-year-old Norkhaizan Jelani, pleaded guilty in court on Friday (May 30). 

A fifth Malaysian arrested, 28-year-old Mohamed Kamil Kamal Basha, disputed some points in the statement of facts, and will have a pre-trial conference on June 9.

The five were part of a group of 30 fans of Malaysian football club match Johor Darul Takzim (JDT), who gathered outside Jalan Besar stadium last Tuesday (20 May) night. Many fans were enraged when they were not allowed into the stadium for a match between the LionsXII and JDT, and the Football Association of Singapore confirmed that a number of Malaysian fans were denied entry as they were holding tickets meant for Singaporean fans.

While a fine is more typical for these charges, the prosecution pushed for a short jail term because of several aggravating factors.

Firstly, the five arrested were shouting JDT slogans. Given the Singapore-Malaysia match happening at the time, the prosecution argued, there was a real risk that “attacks could have been made on persons on the basis of nationality”. Also, the disorderly behaviour went on for about half an hour, indicating a “high level of disobedience” to police instructions to stand down and disperse.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Nicholas Lai urged the court to consider the incident in light of the Little India riots last year, which he noted was sparked off by rumours that a foreign worker hit by a bus had died. He argued that the same thing could have happened in this instance, through the “seemingly harmless and small time” actions of the suspects.

He said with the new National Stadium soon to be launched, a jail sentence would also be a timely warning against football and sports hooliganism in general. 

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