Attacks on madrasah students: Security officer charged with hurting and acting rashly

Security officer Koh Weng Onn, 48, allegedly attacked three female students as they were making their way to Madrasah Al-Ma'arif Al-Islamiah in Geylang.
Security officer Koh Weng Onn, 48, allegedly attacked three female students as they were making their way to Madrasah Al-Ma'arif Al-Islamiah in Geylang. ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

SINGAPORE - A security officer was charged in court on Monday (April 4) with causing hurt and committing a rash act on three Madrasah students last Friday.

Koh Weng Onn, 48, allegedly kicked a 16-year-old girl on her right thigh - an act which was "racially aggravated" - along Paya Lebar Road at 7.22am last Friday.

A minute later, he is said to have swung a plastic bag containing a filled 1.5-litre water bottle at a 14-year-old on the face as she was walking on the pedestrian pavement.

The third charge accuses him of hurting another 14-year-old girl by a rash act that endangered her personal safety. The girl was on the ascending escalator at the Paya Lebar Circle Line MRT station when he allegedly swung the bag and hit her on the face while he was on the descending escalator.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Goh Yi Ling told District Judge Ronald Gwee that these were holding charges pending further investigation.

Preliminary investigation showed that a disproportionately high number of police reports - 90 - were lodged by Koh over five years.

"Most of these reports appear to have been generated by his belief that he was being targeted by others, and he also made reports which nobody would have thought of making a police report about,'' she said.

She cited some examples, including a report against a sales promoter immediately after buying a product from her, quarrels with his colleagues on their work deployment, and strangers he believed bore him ill-will.

She asked that Koh be remanded for psychiatric observation. Koh, who was unrepresented, will be back in court on April 18.

The maximum penalty for racially motivated hurt is three years' jail and a $7,500 fine.

If convicted of the other two charges, Koh could be jailed for up to one year and fined up to $5,000 each.

elena@sph.com.sg