Man charged over food centre assault

A man was charged yesterday with one count of assault following the release of a video clip which showed a dispute involving a female cleaner at a hawker centre.

Phua Meng Wee, 44, was also charged with using criminal force on the cleaner, Ms Ho Gek Yeow.

The Singaporean is accused of throwing a plate of rice at her back at Quality Road Food Centre in Quality Road near Jalan Boon Lay at about 11am on Feb 5.

He allegedly pushed Ms Ho three minutes later, causing her to fall.

Court documents did not reveal the reason behind the dispute.

Another man, known only as Andy, sent a video of the incident to citizen journalism website Stomp.

The approximately 10-second clip shows a woman falling onto the floor of a hawker centre as several diners look on.

A man standing nearby gesticulates at her before walking away.

The woman gets up and tries to go after him, but is stopped by an onlooker.

In a statement on Tuesday, the police said they "have zero tolerance towards such acts of violence and will not hesitate to take action against those who blatantly disregard the law".

Phua's pre-trial conference will be held on Sept 2.

If convicted of assault, he can be jailed for up to three years and fined up to $5,000.

Anyone convicted of using criminal force on another person can be jailed for up to three months and fined up to $1,500.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 06, 2020, with the headline 'Man charged over food centre assault'. Print Edition | Subscribe