A local court of Singapore has directed a tour guide to undergo 18 months of psychiatric treatment under a mandatory treatment order for attacking a Sikh pedestrian and pulling the turban off the man’s head in the ensuing fight. The tour guide reportedly suffers from schizophrenia.
The man Gan Kian Seng had pleaded guilty to one count of each using criminal force and voluntarily causing hurt to Sikh Saranpal Singh Bhaliwal Peram Singh. Another charge of uttering words to deliberately wound the victim's racial feelings was also taken into consideration.
Notably, mandatory treatment order directs an offender to undergo psychiatric treatment - in lieu of jail time - for no more than two years. It is ordered upon recommendation by an appointed psychiatrist at the Institute of Mental Health.
Gan had visited a pub on April 23 on Maude Road in Jalan Besar and consumed alcoholic drinks.
Later, as he was crossing a traffic junction, he started speaking to and gesturing to an unknown pedestrian. After he reached the other side, Gan confronted the pedestrian and pushed him.
After that, he began gesturing at Saranpal Singh without any rhyme or reason. He also pushed him. He pulled the latter’s turban off his head and dropped it on the ground. He also pulled Singh's hair.
Later, a fight ensued and Gan slapped Singh across the face. The latter retaliated with a few punches. Gan punched and kicked Singh in return, uttering racial slurs at him.
Soon, a crowd had gathered at that point, and a bystander called the police.
The court heard that Gan was suffering from schizophrenia which was corroborated by a psychiatric report.
Realising his mistake, Gan had also written a letter of apology to Singh.
District Judge May Mesenas yesterday asked Gan if he was prepared to comply with the conditions of the recommended mandatory treatment order, by taking his medication regularly and agreeing to be monitored. Gan agreed.
“If you do not comply, you can be brought back to court and sentenced to possible incarceration,” the judge said. “This is your chance to take this court order seriously.”