SINGAPORE: One of three men involved in the Shangri-La shooting incident earlier this year has been sentenced to seven years’ jail and three strokes of the cane on Monday (Dec 21). He pleaded guilty to three drug-related charges and one count of abetting a rash act.
On May 31, Muhammad Syahid Mohamed Yasin, 26, was one of two passengers in a car driven by Mohamad Taufik Zahar when they were stopped at a police road block near the Shangri-La hotel, where a high-level security summit was taking place.
Police officers manning the road block told Taufik to wind down the windows, and that the car would be subjected to a check. Nervous about being checked because he had drugs in the car, Syahid shouted at Taufik to “Jalan, jalan!” – Malay for “Go, go!”
Taufik revved the engine and accelerated, crashing through the concrete barricade. Police opened fire on the vehicle, shooting dead 34-year-old Taufik.
Syahid, who fled from the car, was arrested a short time later. Methamthetamine and nimetazepam were found in his pouch that had been left behind in the car.
He was arrested at the scene together with the other passenger, Mohamed Ismail. The urine test results of both men revealed that they had also consumed drugs.
In June this year, Mohamed was sentenced to eight years’ jail and three strokes of the cane on two counts of possession and one count of consumption of drugs.
In court on Monday, Deputy Public Prosecutor Yang Ziliang asked the court to impose a jail term of seven years and two months on Syahid, citing his other antecedents. Syahid has previously been hauled to court for theft, robbery, rioting and possession and consumption of drugs.
The three drug-related charges pressed against Syahid also prescribed mandatory minimum jail terms and caning.
In mitigation, Syahid’s lawyer Nadia Moynihan told the court that her client has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder by a prison psychiatrist.
Syahid has “nightmares and flashbacks” about the moment he witnessed Taufik being shot dead by police, Ms Moynihan said. Syahid also reported “hearing gunshots whenever the doors of the prison were shut loudly”.
Adding to his trauma, Syahid also lost two family members in the span of about a month while he was in remand after being arrested in May.
In July this year, his two-month-old daughter died of whooping cough. He had not even seen his daughter, as she was just two days old when he was arrested. A month after his baby daughter died, his father passed away.
In sentencing him to seven years’ jail and three strokes of the cane, District Judge Lee Poh Choo noted that Syahid had just been released from prison, when he "committed the offences” he will be now sent back to prison for.