SINGAPORE: A 50-year-old Myanmar national was sentenced to three months’ jail on Tuesday (May 30) for using a metal rod to hit a co-worker on his head, knocking him unconscious and fracturing his skull.
Kyaw Kyaw, who worked as a welder at SC Auto, pleaded guilty to one charge of voluntarily causing hurt with a weapon, for hitting Chinese national Wei Hong Zhuo. Both men did not get along at work, with Kyaw Kyaw claiming that he was harassed by his colleague.
On Nov 23 2016, Kyaw Kyaw and Wei, 38, had a dispute at their workplace in Senoko, gesturing and shouting at each other, the court heard.
Kyaw Kyaw then picked up a hollow metal rod of about 1.2m long and gestured toward Wei to back off by swinging it partially at him. After being taunted, Kyaw Kyaw again swung the rod, this time towards the left side of Wei’s head, causing him to fall on the floor and lose consciousness.
Wei was sent to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital where he was found to have a fracture on his skull and internal bleeding in the brain. He was unable to remember the attack.
He was discharged from hospital on Dec 6 and has since returned to China.
In his mitigation plea, Kyaw Kyaw’s lawyer Wilbur Lim noted that disagreements between both parties run deep, and that the incident was a result of Wei’s “prolonged provocation” over a long period of time.
He added that when Kyaw Kyaw first joined the company, he was told to learn how to operate an automatic milling machine from Wei. But Wei perceived him as a competitor at the outset, and refused to impart the necessary skills.
Wei had also “persistently and consistently” harassed Kyaw Kyaw throughout the years, he added. For example, when Kyaw Kyaw was tasked to install programmes into a machine, Wei deliberately hid the keys to the control panel so Kyaw Kyaw could not perform his duties. He added that on numerous occasions, Kyaw Kyaw had also caught Wei messing with his finished products, causing “extreme disruption” to his work.
Wei had also been “extremely rude” to Kyaw Kyaw and had verbally abused him for years, Mr Lim said, and instances of Wei’s “unfair treatment and harassment” were witnessed by numerous colleagues.
He noted that Kyaw Kyaw has expressed remorse, understood that he had committed an offence, cooperated fully with police investigations and pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Chong Kee En had asked for a jail term of four months, due to the degree of injuries caused. But District Judge Hamidah Ibrahim agreed with the defence that the provocation was “long and continuous” and said she was prepared to “cut him some slack”.
For voluntarily causing hurt with a weapon, Kyaw Kyaw could have been jailed up to seven years, with fine or caning.