SINGAPORE: A former actor claimed trial on Monday (Jul 27) to attacking a Bangladeshi worker with a metal scraper at the Singapore Islamic Hub, claiming that the victim had asked to be disciplined and exaggerated his pain.
Ng Aik Leong, better known as Huang Yiliang, was unrepresented and defended himself via a Mandarin interpreter for one charge of voluntarily causing hurt by a dangerous weapon.
Ng is accused of hitting Mr Jahidul on the head and scratching his abdomen twice with the metal scraper at the Singapore Islamic Hub on Dec 11, 2018.
Ng strongly denied the claims.
WITNESS HEARD VICTIM MAKING A "CRYING TONE"
The trial opened with a security officer and two police officers who had responded to the scene.
Security officer Mohammad Aktar Abdul Halil testified that he went to investigate a commotion on the second floor of the hub after hearing about it from a colleague.
The alleged incident had occurred in a working area at the back of the canteen, the court heard.
When Mr Aktar got there, he saw Mr Jahidul and heard him make "a crying tone". Mr Jahidul said he had been injured by his boss on his head, abdomen and elbow. The officer took photos as evidence.
At that point, said the security officer, Ng intervened and said that Mr Jahidul did not know how to do his work and was "stupid".
Ng spoke in a loud voice as he tried to explain the situation, said Mr Aktar. Ng was later separated from Mr Jahidul and went to sit at a different area of the canteen.
WORKER ASKED ME TO BEAT HIM TO DISCIPLINE HIM: NG
Cross-examining the witness, Ng asked if the security officer recalled Ng saying that Mr Jahidul had "kept asking me to beat him to discipline him".
Mr Aktar said he could not recall this.
"This worker kept touching his head, very painful. The injuries were not that serious but the pain he displayed appeared to be 100 times his injuries," said Ng, as he clutched his body and acted out the pain.
"He was acting, do you recall that?" asked Ng. Mr Aktar replied that he could not answer the question.
Ng said that he was able to accept a certain percentage of "overact(ing)" of the pain, but not if it was a large percentage.
"He was out to frame me," said Ng, adding that he did not complain to the security officer that Mr Jahidul "cannot work".
"MY BOSS HIT ME"
Two police officers who responded to the scene also took the stand, each of them describing their conversation with Ng and Mr Jahidul.
Sergeant Wesley Teo said he heard of the case via a text message that said "my boss hit me, no need ambulance", and proceeded to the hub where he and his colleague met with the security officer.
They saw Ng and Mr Jahidul seated at different parts of the canteen.
Mr Jahidul told SGT Teo that his boss had taken him to the back of the canteen stalls. Mr Jahidul said that Ng had scolded him and hit him with the scraper while he was working in the area. The scraper had a 40cm-long wooden handle and 15cm-long metal tip.
"The victim said the boss thrusted the scraper towards him," said SGT Teo, adding that he observed redness along Mr Jahidul's scalp.
Mr Jahidul also showed SGT Teo a blurry photo of Ng that he had taken while being hit.
After the alleged attack, a scuffle broke out and Mr Jahidul ran away but eventually returned to Ng as he was "afraid of his boss", the court heard.
Mr Jahidul, who was teary-eyed, seemed to be in distress and afraid of his boss then, said SGT Teo.
Cross-examining SGT Teo, Ng referred to a photo by the prosecution, showing an injury on the left side of the victim's abdomen.
On the day of the incident, however, Mr Jahidul had clutched the front of his stomach instead, said Ng.
"This injured person didn't even know where he was injured," he said. "Did you see him in exaggerated pain?"
"It was not in exaggeration," answered SGT Teo.
VICTIM TREATED NG AS A FATHER, NG CLAIMED
SGT Teo's colleague, Staff Sergeant Lim Rong Hoe, who spoke to Ng on the day of the incident, testified that Ng said he had a scuffle with Mr Jahidul as the victim kept making a mistake over tying a raffia string on a pail.
"(Ng) said the victim treated him as a father and allowed him to use violence on him," said SSGT Lim.
Ng said Mr Jahidul had repeatedly said that he was "a very good boss".
"'I treat you as a father, as a good teacher, I allow you to hammer me because I learn things so slow'," said Ng. "That was what he often said to me."
The trial continues in the afternoon with several witnesses lined up, including the investigating officer in charge of the case and other police officers.
Mr Jahidul cannot testify during this tranche of the trial, as he is in one of the dormitories that have been declared isolation areas. He is set to testify at a later date.
If found guilty of voluntarily causing hurt with a dangerous weapon, Ng can be jailed for up to seven years and fined. He cannot be caned as he is over 50 years old.
Ng faces a second charge of affray, but it has been stood down or set aside while this trial is ongoing.
Ng was an actor with Mediacorp from the 1980s, known for his roles in Channel 8 television serials including Holland V and Double Happiness.
He left the local industry more than a decade ago, although he drew credits for shows produced in China as recently as 2014.
He was previously married to fellow artiste Lin Meijiao, but the pair divorced in the late 1990s.