SINGAPORE: A former actor on trial for assaulting his worker with a metal scraper had his explanation of the incident labelled as "ridiculous" on Wednesday (Dec 2), in an animated hearing that saw the judge warning him against contempt of court.
Former Channel 8 actor Ng Aik Leong, better known as Huang Yiliang, was cross-examined on the stand by the prosecutor for several hours.
The 59-year-old is defending himself against a charge of voluntarily causing hurt by a dangerous weapon to Bangladeshi worker Mr Jahidul at the Singapore Islamic Hub on Dec 11, 2018.
According to the victim, Ng had taken him to the back of the canteen stalls where they were working and hit him with a scraper after scolding him.
Ng has consistently denied the charge, claiming that he had an agreement with the victim for Ng to beat and discipline him. However, he said he learned during his acting days how to throw fake punches and did not actually hit the victim or injure him.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Chong Kee En on Wednesday put it to Ng that his story is "ridiculous".
"My stance has not changed from Day 1," replied Ng through a Mandarin interpreter. "I don't know why you keep saying I'm ridiculous."
He made repeated criticisms of the way the prosecutor was asking questions, saying that he was being too "particular" with his words.
Asked how this purported agreement would help the worker, Ng said: "He asked me to help him learn and progress. I learned this skill from that time when I was filming, and these were fake punches. He did not get injured physically."
The judge asked Ng several times to answer the questions posed to him and not to repeat points he already made.
At one point, Ng loudly read out vulgarities that he allegedly hurled at the victim.
"Mr Ng, you don't want me to hold you in contempt of court," interjected District Judge John Ng.
"I'm very agitated, sorry," replied Ng. The hearing resumed only after a break for Ng to "calm down".
PROSECUTOR SAYS HE DID NOT ANSWER THE QUESTION
Ng said he initially thought the victim was pretending when they made an agreement for Ng to hit him and thought the victim might have a mental condition.
"At that point in time we did not know each other for very long and I was suspecting that he could have this (condition). Is it he 'gei siao', he could have been acting, pretending. All sorts of reasons, because he was pretending to be like an idiot and it was very serious," said Ng.
READ: Former actor on trial for striking worker with metal scraper, says victim was 'acting' and exaggerated pain
"Are you saying it is okay to hit someone who's mentally ill?" asked the prosecutor.
"Of course not. So I didn't hit. I took him as my good mentee. I was teaching him from a 'shifu' (mentor) point of view," said Ng.
The prosecutor said Ng did not answer several questions posed to him.
"The question posed to you was - why did you have to grab a scraper during the dispute. Your answer is - you wanted to hit (the victim's) backside, this action was similar to a father hitting a child. 'I didn't want to cause him injury but I wanted to hit (him)'," said Mr Chong.
"You keep asking me the same questions," answered Ng. "His backside was not hurt at all. But (you) keep testing my English."
"I'm not testing your English because you have an interpreter with you," replied Mr Chong.
Speaking to the interpreter, Ng said: "No, he keeps asking me, hit, hit, hit, then the judge keeps scolding me."
"No one is scolding you, this is cross-examination," said Mr Chong. He asked if the agreement was for Ng to actually hit the victim, or just to scare him.
"I was teaching him," replied Ng.
"You are not answering the question," pressed the prosecutor.
"Inclined towards scaring him, because I want to enlighten him. (He) asked me to do it," replied Ng.
"You said 'I am his very respectable mentor'. Was this agreement to hit him a joke or an actual serious agreement?" asked Mr Chong.
"Yes, this was a very serious agreement. A very, very serious agreement, which escalated to me having to come to court. I thought his idiocy was fake," replied Ng.
He closed his defence's case on Wednesday and both sides will file closing submissions before returning to court next year.
If found guilty of voluntarily causing hurt with a dangerous weapon, he can be jailed for up to seven years and fined. He cannot be caned as he is over 50 years old.