SINGAPORE: A man was jailed for more than one year and four months and fined S$20,000 on Monday (May 9) for offences including organising an assault on former Member of Parliament (MP) Chan Soo Sen.
Khoo Tsu Peng, 68, pleaded guilty to a charge each of abetting an offence of voluntarily causing grievous hurt, abetting an offence of voluntarily causing hurt, and remote gambling. Another charge was also considered for sentencing.
Mr Chan, 65, was a People's Action Party MP for East Coast Group Representation Constituency followed by Joo Chiat Single Member Constituency from 1997 to 2011.
The court heard that sometime in October 2019, a man named Ho Soo Foong told Khoo that he wanted to teach Mr Chan a lesson by getting someone to assault him for a five-figure sum.
Ho told Khoo that he was enraged as he suspected that his daughter, or his friend's daughter, was having an affair with Mr Chan.
In fact, Ho suspected that his wife was having the affair, but did not reveal this to Khoo as he was embarrassed, according to court documents.
As part of their arrangement, Ho showed Khoo a photo of Mr Chan. Khoo offered the job to Mohd Ali Osman, 59, who agreed to do it for S$25,000.
Ali in turn recruited another assailant, Muhammad Raimi Saharudin, 30, telling the younger man that he would be paid if he threw chilli powder and broke the victim's leg.
Ali also told Raimi that Mr Chan would usually take the bus at a bus stop along Pasir Panjang Road, and both men travelled there to scout the area.
On the evening of Dec 26, 2019, Ali called Raimi and told him to head to the bus stop. Bringing a wooden stick with him, Raimi rushed there on a motorcycle and waited for Mr Chan.
Near midnight, Mr Chan alighted from a bus. Raimi recognised the victim from a photo Ali had shown him.
He approached Mr Chan and threw a packet of reddish orange powder at him, then hit him on his back with a wooden stick several times. The victim fell to the ground.
After this, Raimi shouted: "You know what you have done." He then rode away on his motorcycle, stopping at a petrol station to throw the wooden stick away.
The next day, Ali told Khoo and Ho that the job was done. In total, Ho passed S$20,000 to Ali for the job, of which Raimi received S$3,000.
Ho did not pay the remaining S$5,000 as "he was unhappy that the police had commenced investigations against him", according to court documents.
Mr Chan made a police report on the night of the attack. He suffered bruises over his left elbow and knees and a contusion on his back.
Forensic analysis on the reddish orange powder found that it contained carbohydrates, capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin, which are substances found in chilli peppers.
Raimi was previously sentenced to jail for his involvement, while Ho's and Ali's cases are still being dealt with.
In a separate case, Khoo admitted to organising another attack on a 44-year-old man who was in a dispute with Khoo's good friend over alleged gambling winnings.
The victim was punched and kicked by two men near a coffee shop, and sustained a nasal fracture and blunt injury with contusions to his face, scalp and clavicle.
Khoo also admitted to facilitating participation by others in illegal horse betting and 4D betting.
Deputy Public Prosecutors Sean Teh and Deborah Lee said that Khoo's culpability was high in the attack on Mr Chan as he "facilitated the recruitment of a hitman" when he knew this was a revenge attack.
Asking for a total sentence of one-and-a-half years' jail and a S$20,000 fine, the prosecutors also cited the significant planning and premeditation and the use of a weapon in the attack.
Those convicted of abetting an offence of voluntarily causing grievous hurt can be jailed for up to 10 years, fined and caned. Khoo cannot be caned as he is over 50.
Those guilty of abetting an offence of voluntarily causing hurt can be jailed for up to three years, fined up to S$5,000 or both.
The penalty for facilitating a remote gambling offence is up to five years' jail, a fine between S$20,000 and S$200,000 or both.