SINGAPORE: Three men who were captured in a viral video fighting at a taxi stand at Marina Bay Sands (MBS) were fined between S$2,000 and S$2,500 on Monday (Aug 17) for disturbing the public peace.
Malaysians Gan Eng Guan, 50, and Sew Chong Yew, 35, were each fined S$2,000 while Singaporean Stanislaus Low Ming Loong, 27, was fined S$2,500.
They pleaded guilty to a charge each of committing affray by disturbing the public peace in a fight that erupted over a claim for a taxi in the queue.
The court heard that Sew and Gan, who both work at fruit stalls on work passes, left the MBS casino past 2am on Feb 22 and went to the taxi stand outside.
At the same time, Low was with his girlfriend at the taxi stand after heading there from the food court at The Shoppes at MBS.
They were in the taxi queue behind another man, who was first in the queue, and Sew and Gan later joined the queue behind the couple.
The man at the front of the queue boarded a silver taxi, and Low moved up the walkway towards a blue taxi, thinking it was his, but the cab did not stop for him.
When a red cab came next, Sew and Gan moved towards it while Low quickly tried to reach for it as well. They began quarrelling after Low accused the Malaysians of cutting the queue.
All three men began cursing at each other in Hokkien and English, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Ho Jiayun.
They began to fight, with punches and kicks thrown and Sew throwing Low onto the floor in a somersault thrust, said Ms Ho.
"At one point, Low gave Gan a hard kick, causing Gan to roll onto the floor. Meanwhile, (Low's girlfriend) was still holding Sew down," she said.
"Low tried to wrestle with Sew while Gan got back up and gestured aggressively at Low. By this point, Low’s shirt had been entirely torn."
At this point, an MBS security officer intervened and separated the parties, urging them to calm down. Both sides finally left in separate taxis, with Low sustaining a small bump on his head and Gan sustaining bruises and cuts on his elbow and knees.
The fight, which lasted a few minutes, was witnessed by the public and extended from the taxi stand to the driveway. An informant sent an email titled "Disgraceful fight at MBS!" with video footage of the fight to the police on Feb 22 and a report was lodged.
Low, who was the only accused with a lawyer, was given a higher fine after the prosecutor called for it as Low had thrown the first punch.
Sew asked for a light fine, saying he was earning only "a very light income" and has learned his lesson.
Gan said he had to support his aged parents and similarly asked for a light sentence.
For committing affray and disturbing the public peace by fighting in a public place, the men could have been jailed for up to a year, fined up to S$5,000, or both.