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‘Talk to rich people nicely’: Two women fined for hurling degrading comments at NEA officer

SINGAPORE — After being caught lighting up outside a designated smoking area along Orchard Road, Chee Kam Fah and Koh Lee Yen lashed out at an enforcement officer, asking her to “talk to rich people nicely” and calling her a “crazy girl”.

‘Talk to rich people nicely’: Two women fined for hurling degrading comments at NEA officer

Chee Kam Fah and Koh Lee Yen were fined S$3,000 after pleaded guilty to harassing a public servant.

SINGAPORE — After being caught lighting up outside a designated smoking area along Orchard Road, Chee Kam Fah and Koh Lee Yen lashed out at an enforcement officer, asking her to “talk to rich people nicely” and calling her a “crazy girl”.

The Singaporean women, both aged 50, were each fined S$3,000 on Wednesday (Sept 8) after pleading guilty to harassing a public servant.

The court heard that the two friends were smoking outside Lucky Plaza mall on the morning of Sept 21 last year.

Ms Asyikah Suri Kamsari, an auxiliary police officer appointed by the National Environment Agency as an enforcement officer, was carrying out her duties with a colleague when she spotted Chee and Koh smoking outside the designated area.

The officers approached them and asked for their particulars in order to issue a summons.

When Ms Asyikah was keying Chee’s details into an electronic handheld terminal, Chee retorted: “Your salary how much? One thousand only one month, I think.”

She also said: “Talk to rich people nicely, you’re a poor girl”, “I tell you, you careful walk, fall down… don’t bang to the car” and “So what, pay only what, I got money (expletive)”.

Koh followed suit, saying: “You shut up and ask for IC” and “You poor forever, you know or not?” 

She also accused Ms Asyikah of being a” crazy girl” who did not earn enough to buy a pillow to cry into, and told her in Cantonese that she had no upbringing.

Chee then took out a S$1,000 note and waved it in front of the officer’s face, while Koh said that the officer should just shut up and take the money.

Their actions were captured on Ms Asyikah’s body-worn camera.

State Prosecuting Officer Nasri Haron asked for a fine of between S$3,000 and S$4,000 for each woman. He told the court that the verbal abuse was “prolonged and calculated to insult and degrade the victim”, who was merely doing her job.

Both women, who did not have a lawyer, said in mitigation that they were under stress at the time.

Chee said through an interpreter that Ms Asyikah had “suddenly walked towards me, so at that point of time, my mind couldn’t get adjusted to the whole situation”.

She added that she was a businesswoman and the Covid-19 pandemic had been a stressful period for her.

When District Judge Jasbendar Kaur questioned Koh on why her friend had waved a S$1,000 note around, Koh said that they had thought they could pay the summons on the spot.

She claimed that she had been caught discarding a cigarette before and paid a S$300 fine then.

She further alleged that there were two other men smoking outside the designated area but Ms Asyikah “let them go like that”. 

“That’s why I used this type of language. I don’t like to use this type of language as well.”

The judge told them that stress did not excuse their behaviour.

They could have been fined up to S$5,000 or jailed for up to a year, or both.

Related topics

court crime harassment public servant verbal abuse Smoking NEA

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