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'Why you haven’t die?': Jail for man who made racist remarks to library and polyclinic staff

SINGAPORE — A 69-year-old man with a history of harassment was jailed for six weeks on Wednesday (May 11) for making racially charged remarks at public service workers in a library and polyclinic.

'Why you haven’t die?': Jail for man who made racist remarks to library and polyclinic staff
Peethambaran Dilip at the State Courts in April 2022.

SINGAPORE — A 69-year-old man with a history of harassment was jailed for six weeks on Wednesday (May 11) for making racially charged remarks at public service workers in a library and polyclinic.

Peethambaran Dilip, a Singaporean, pleaded guilty to one charge of wounding racial feelings and two others of causing alarm, distress or harassment.

Three other similar charges were taken into consideration for sentencing.

The court heard that Peethambaran had gone to Clementi Public Library on June 9 last year. Closed-circuit television footage caught him lowering his face mask, walking to a rubbish bin and spitting into it.

A cleaner saw this and reported him to the management.

Before Peethambaran left, a library officer approached him and advised him not to spit into the bin because the Covid-19 pandemic was ongoing. The officer was aware that Peethambaran had done this before.

Peethambaran grew unhappy and said: “Bloody Chinese”, “Think you very big is it, to own this country?”, “Japanese killed your kind for a reason” and “I am not scared of you Chinese”.

A library manager then called the police for help.

More than a month later, Peethambaran went to Marine Parade Polyclinic to get more medication. Court documents did not state what was his medical condition.

He walked into a health monitoring station, threw his queue ticket onto the counter and told a patient service associate: “Why you haven’t die? All Chinese should die.”

He also began making spitting noises while wearing his face mask, and called the associate “pig” in Malay in the presence of her colleagues.

The associate informed security guards on duty, prompting a health services manager to make a police report.

Polyclinic employees knew Peethambaran because he had scolded staff members there on previous occasions, the court heard.

Then, on Oct 15 last year, Peethambaran returned to the polyclinic and went to the pharmacy counter.

When a pharmacist asked if he was collecting his medication, he did not initially respond but later hurled insulting words at the pharmacist.

He also said something to the effect of “his kind” would be slaughtered in Indonesia.

Peethambaran's past criminal offences included criminal intimidation in 2005. He was fined S$2,000 for using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, and jailed six weeks in 2017 for punching and slapping a bus driver.

The prosecution sought six weeks’ jail and noted that his racist remarks had “evoked violent imagery, essentially calling for the ‘death’ or ‘slaughter’ of the respective victims on account of their Chinese racial heritage”.

For wounding racial feelings, Peethambaran could have been jailed for up to three years or fined, or both.

Related topics

court crime racist harassment verbal abuse

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