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The Straits Times
November 8, 2022
A man who provided false information to the police about his nephew’s involvement in a fatal fight in Jurong West in 2019 was fined $2,500 on Tuesday.
On April 11, 2019, Tan Beng Gim, 52, got into a brawl with Mr Ng Boon Chye, 51, after a verbal spat at a coffee shop Tan owned at Block 966 Jurong West Street 93.
Court documents did not disclose why the two men quarrelled.
Tan and Mr Ng exchanged vulgarities in Hokkien during the heated argument, which escalated into a fight.
The exchange was witnessed by Tan Hung Theng, 58, who later told the police that his nephew, Tan Beng Gim, had not hit or touched Ng at all.
On Tuesday, Tan Hung Theng was convicted of one count of providing false information to the police.
The court heard that Mr Ng, a patron of Tan Beng Gim’s coffee shop, had walked into the place on April 11, 2019.
When Tan Beng Gim saw Mr Ng, he walked over to him and asked if there was a problem.
Mr Ng attempted to walk away several times, but Tan shouted at him, shoved him, and asked if he was “trying to test (Tan’s) patience”.
Tan then placed an arm around Mr Ng and steered him towards the refuse disposal area behind the coffee shop, telling him that they would “go behind to settle the problem”.
At the refuse disposal area, Tan and Mr Ng continued quarrelling.
Mr Ng threw the first punch at Tan, which he blocked. Tan shouted at Mr Ng for hitting him and threatened to call the police. Both men continued provoking each other until Tan grabbed Mr Ng’s shirt and slammed him onto the floor.
While his nephew and Mr Ng were fighting, Tan Hung Theng took out his mobile phone and filmed the incident.
As a result of the fight, Mr Ng had a head injury and was declared brain dead on April 15, 2019.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Sean Teh said Tan Hung Theng was interviewed by the police one day after the incident and provided false information about his nephew’s involvement in the fight.
Tan falsely claimed that Mr Ng fell on the floor after trying to challenge his nephew, who avoided him by shifting to his left side.
In his statement to the police on April 12, 2019, Tan said: “I can vouch that ‘Gim’ (Tan Beng Gim) did not even touch (Ng) at all.”
Tan’s false statement came to light later that day after the police obtained the video he had recorded and sent to Tan Beng Gim’s son.
In August 2020, Tan Beng Gim was sentenced to eight months’ jail after pleading guilty to a charge of voluntarily causing hurt which resulted in Mr Ng’s death.
Those who knowingly provide false information to a public servant can be jailed for up to six months, fined $5,000, or both.