SINGAPORE – The chief executive of a wholesale trading firm was on Wednesday (July 21) sentenced to two weeks’ jail for assaulting a taxi driver whom he had accused of being racist.
Mohammad Alvee Rana, now 26, from R & J Union, had earlier pleaded guilty to one count of voluntarily causing hurt.
According to the Singaporean who originally came from Bangladesh, the victim, Mr Rajadorai Doraisamy, had said that he was “uncivilised” and came “from a Third World country”.
The 58-year-old Singaporean cabby, however, denied making such statements.
Assistant Public Prosecutor Lydia Goh said that Alvee and his girlfriend boarded Mr Rajadorai’s taxi near Boat Quay at around 10pm on Oct 21, 2019.
Alvee then asked the driver to change the radio channel but the older man replied that he did not know how to do so.
They were on their way to Novotel Singapore On Stevens hotel when Alvee asked Mr Rajadorai to stop the taxi along the road as he needed to urinate.
APP Goh said: “Raja told the accused that he could not just stop the taxi as there were too many cars behind him.
“The accused then told Raja that if he did not stop the taxi to let him urinate, he would urinate inside the taxi.”
Mr Rajadorai stopped the taxi in Stevens Road and Alvee alighted.
The court heard that the cabby then asked the younger man’s girlfriend where she came from and the woman replied that she came from Bangladesh.
Mr Rajadorai then said: “Oh, you are from Bangladesh.”
The woman was offended by his comment and told Alvee about it, said APP Goh. An argument ensued between the two men, with Alvee accusing Mr Rajadorai of being racist.
The older man said that “it was not right to urinate along the side of the road”, but he continued driving the couple to the hotel.
When he arrived at the hotel, two bellmen came forward and Alvee’s girlfriend stepped out of the taxi.
Alvee argued with the cabby again before throwing the fare at the older man.
The younger man then alighted and walked away with the woman after abusing the cabby with vulgar language.
The court heard that Alvee returned soon after and shouted aggressively at Mr Rajadorai.
The APP said: “(The two bellmen) saw the accused leaning forward into the open front passenger window, thrusting his hand forward and pulling Raja by the collar of his shirt. (The bellmen) then quickly intervened and separated the parties.”
Mr Rajadorai alerted the police before going to Alexandra Hospital, where he was found with injuries including a strained neck.
Alvee has since made $110 in compensation to Mr Rajadorai for his medical fees.
Defence lawyer S. S. Dhillon told the court in his mitigation plea that his client’s offence was due to a “knee-jerk reaction and a momentary lapse of judgement”.
The lawyer from Dhillon & Panoo added: “Our client wished he had exercised extreme prudence and reined in his temper and not acted hastily.”
For voluntarily causing hurt, an offender can be jailed for up to two years and fined up to $5,000.