Man gets six months for dumping dying worker on pavement, fined $85k for 2 other offences

The back alley at Upper Circular Road, where the body of a Myanmar national was found.
The back alley at Upper Circular Road, where the body of a Myanmar national was found.PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER FILE

SINGAPORE - A man and his brother drove an injured Myanmar worker around instead of taking him to the hospital and then dumped the dying man at a pavement.

Mr Myo Min Aung, 28, was working as a freelance painter for Muhammad Hidayat Abdul Rahman, 41, when he fell 11.7m from a link bridge at VivoCity, whose feature walls were to be repainted. He had been drinking earlier.

Hidayat, a freelance rope access consultant, pleaded guilty to depositing Mr Myo, who was dying, with his elder brother Azhar, 45, along Upper Circular Road at about 1.20am on Oct 7, 2013.

He also admitted to two other charges - failing to take measures as was reasonably practicable to ensure the safety and health of his employees at a worksite at HarbourFront Walk, VivoCity, and employing Mr Myo as a painter, when he did not have a valid work permit to work for him between Sept 30 and Oct 6 that year.

On Friday (May 20), Hidayat was jailed for six months. He will serve another two months and two weeks in jail as he did not pay a fine of $85,000.

Azhar was then a safety supervisor of Height.Service.Management (HSM), owned by Hidayat's wife. Hidayat was, however, the sole person of all the operations of HSM, which handled painting works.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Kelly Ho told the court that Hidayat got to know Mr Myo and another freelance painter, Mr Min Aung Myat Min, when he was working for LTC Coatings. He left in 2011.

On Sept 27 in 2011, he called Mr Myo, who agreed to work for him by carrying out painting works at VivoCity. He had previously worked for Hidayat on four occasions.

Investigations showed that at about 11.20pm on Oct 6 that year, the two Myanmar workers reported to Azhar for work at the worksite.

Azhar noticed that the two Myanmar workers appeared intoxicated, especially Mr Myo, who reeked of alcohol and was unsteady on his feet.

He called Hidayat, who had yet to arrive, to inform him of this. Hidayat told Azhar not to allow Mr Myo to work but Azhar did not stop him.

As there were inadequate lighting facilities at the roof for the painting works to be done, Azhar instructed Mr Min to install spotlights.

Between 11.45pm on Oct 6 and midnight, both workers were on the roof of the link bridge. Azhar did not stop them from working even though he knew that the roof did not have enough lighting and was not barricaded.

Mr Min was lowering an electrical cable to Azhar when he found the cable was entangled.

He called out to Mr Myo, but found him lying on the ground and in pain.

Azhar told Hidayat. Mr Myo was then put in the back seat of Hidayat's car in a multi-storey carpark. Hidayat and Mr Min also changed Mr Myo's work attire for civilian clothes.

Hidayat then drove to the ground floor, where Mr Min got out and Azhar entered the car.

They drove around for 30 minutes before dumping Mr Myo in Upper Circular Road near Songfa Bak Kut Teh. Azhar then called for an ambulance at 1.24am, shortly before Mr Myo was pronounced dead. The "anonymous'' call was later traced to Azhar's mobile phone.

Hidayat's lawyer Remesha Pillai said that day, his client was in a state of panic over what had happened and was not thinking rationally or reasonably.

He said Hidayat had instructed his brother not to let the two Myanmar nationals work due to their inebriation but little did he know that Azhar did not stop them.