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SAF regular admits to scalding hawker assistant over wrong order by throwing hot soup at her

SINGAPORE — Angry that a hawker assistant had prepared fried beancurd instead of his order of fried beancurd skin, Kelvin Tan Chun Long tossed a takeaway container of hot soup at her.

SAF regular admits to scalding hawker assistant over wrong order by throwing hot soup at her

Kelvin Tan Chun Long was buying takeaway food at a coffee shop when he got angry that a hawker assistant could not redo his order that she got wrong.

SINGAPORE — Angry that a hawker assistant had prepared fried beancurd instead of his order of fried beancurd skin, Kelvin Tan Chun Long tossed a takeaway container of hot soup at her.

The victim suffered a minor burn wound and was given a total of 11 days’ medical leave due to her injury.

Tan, 28, pleaded guilty on Monday (Dec 13) to one charge of causing hurt to Madam Tan Moi Moi, 53, by a rash act.

He is set to be sentenced on Jan 28 next year after a judge asked his lawyer and the prosecution to make submissions on compensation.

The court heard that Tan had gone to Mdm Tan's stall in the coffee shop at Block 676, Woodlands Drive 71 on June 6 to get takeaway food. The circuit breaker period last year that restricted movements and activities due to Covid-19 had just been lifted.

When Tan returned to the stall to collect his order, he realised that Mdm Tan had prepared the wrong thing.

She then told him that she could not redo his order because the food had already been cooked.

Tan got angry and pushed the plastic bag containing his order away from the counter onto the floor.

He then walked to the nearest table where he had placed takeaway food bought from other stalls, picked up a plastic bag with a container of hot soup and threw it at Mdm Tan.

The soup spilled out when the container hit Mdm Tan and she immediately felt a burning sensation on the right side of her waist.

Tan immediately walked away from the stall, but several passers-by who had witnessed the incident chased after him. He returned to the stall and apologised.

Mdm Tan sought medical attention at Khoo Teck Huat Hospital later that day, then went for follow-up treatment at Toa Payoh Polyclinic in the following days. She suffered a superficial partial thickness burn wound.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Melina Chew did not seek a particular sentence, saying that she would leave it to District Judge Ng Peng Hong’s discretion. She noted that Tan’s actions were “entirely uncalled for” and that his reaction was “wholly disproportionate”.

“It was extremely fortuitous that it did not splash on more vulnerable parts of her body, which would have resulted in more serious injuries,” the prosecutor added.

Tan’s lawyer David Gan said that the offences were committed on the spur of the moment. The food was meant for Tan's four-year-old autistic son.

“His son is quite demanding in terms of food requirements. The hawker assistant could not comply, so (Tan) was frustrated… He sincerely apologises for his rash act and urges the court to give him a second chance,” Mr Gan added.

The defence counsel urged the court to impose a fine not exceeding S$2,000, as a higher one would lead to Tan losing his job as a regular in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF).

Mr Gan said that Tan is the main breadwinner of his family. He also has a daughter who is a year old.

Those convicted of causing hurt by a rash act can be jailed up to a year or fined S$5,000, or both.

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