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Man who smoked outside designated box at Lucky Plaza fined for cursing at enforcement officer

Man who smoked outside designated box at Lucky Plaza fined for cursing at enforcement officer

A man stands at a smoking zone area on Orchard Road in Singapore on Apr 5, 2020. (Photo: ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP)

SINGAPORE: A man who smoked outside the designated smoking area at Lucky Plaza was fined S$3,000 on Tuesday (Apr 20) for cursing at an enforcement officer appointed by the National Environment Agency (NEA).

Muhammad Raynie Mokhtar, 34, pleaded guilty to one charge of using abusive words towards a public servant.

The court heard that the victim was performing enforcement duties at Lucky Plaza in Orchard Road at about 4.30pm on Feb 7 last year when he saw Raynie smoking outside the smoking box.

He began issuing a writ of summons to Raynie, who was angered and cursed at the officer, a 30-year-old Malaysian man.

According to court documents, Raynie said: "Why the f*** ... you do this to Singaporeans? What's your f****** purpose?" and "F*** yourself man, and give me back my NRIC".

Raynie rejected the summons slip and took his NRIC back from the victim in an incident that was captured on video footage from the officer's body-worn camera.

Raynie then called "999" and told the police: "I was few centimetres from the smoking corner. Then the Certis Cisco tapped me on my shoulder and said I am smoking outside the box. I need police here. They are abusing their powers."

The prosecutor asked for a fine of at least S$3,000. Raynie, who had no lawyer, said he wanted to clarify what happened.

He claimed the victim had been "condescending" to him and that he accepts his fault but he did not run away.

He said he began "welling up" because he saw a person with a motorcycle that had a Malaysian number plate who was smoking, and the victim said hi to this person.

"My point is simple - to that point of time, his bodycam is on me, it's not on (the victim), his expression was very smug," he said. "I just want you to understand why. I'm not xenophobic, my housemate is Malaysian."

He said he was willing to cooperate until the victim started being "condescending" to him.

The prosecutor responded that he had no right to use abusive language on the enforcement officer.

Asked about how he would settle the fine, Raynie said he had only S$2 in his bank account and he was "holding up on the money" as he needed to save money for his family's Hari Raya celebrations.

The judge allowed him to pay the fine in instalments by July 2021.

For using abusive words on a public servant, he could have been jailed up to a year, fined a maximum of S$5,000, or both.

Source: CNA/ll(ta)

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