SINGAPORE - A construction worker from China stabbed a compatriot twice on the lower rib after a settlement talk.
On Monday (Dec 12), Zheng Zhongzhen, 44, was sentenced to seven months' jail for stabbing Mr Ma Shunjie, 33, a broker for construction workers, near Paya Lebar MRT station on Aug 1, 2016.
Investigation showed that before the stabbing incident, the two men had argued during a drinking session with 13 other acquaintances at People's Park Centre.Zheng and Mr Ma left separately at about 10pm.
But at about midnight, Zheng called Mr Ma and told him to meet outside Paya Lebar MRT station to settle their differences.
Zheng brought along a 16cm-long kitchen knife.
When Mr Ma arrived at the place, Zheng rushed towards him and pushed him once. Zheng then stabbed the victim twice on his lower left rib with the knife.
Both left after the scuffle and Zheng threw away the knife. It was later recovered from the nearby bushes.
Police learned about the incident after Mr Ma's brother called them at 12.33am.
Zheng's lawyer Gregory Fong, assigned by Criminal Legal Aid Scheme, said in mitigation that Zheng was upset with Mr Ma because the victim did not help recover his unpaid wages.
Zheng said it was Mr Ma who had secured work for him in Singapore. When the company did not pay him, Zheng approached Mr Ma but he claimed the victim washed his hands off the matter, and told Zheng that it was "none of his business".
Mr Ma also told Zheng to approach the company on his own. He then cut off all contact with Zheng.
Mr Fong said on the day of the stabbing, Zheng had again argued with Mr Ma over the unpaid wages.
He said that his client, who is married with two children, was not in a proper frame of mind after drinks and had taken a knife with him to meet Mr Ma to protect himself.
Zheng, whose sentence was backdated to Aug 2, could have been jailed for up to seven years, fined, caned or received any combined punishment.