'Samurai' man with sword on train charged, remanded at IMH

A man believed to be Chua wielding a sword.
A man believed to be Chua wielding a sword.PHOTO: FACEBOOK PAGE OF PETER CHUA

39-year-old remanded at IMH pending psychiatric check

The man who drew a samurai sword on an MRT train faces a jail term of up to five years and at least six strokes of the cane after he was charged in court.

Peter Chua Teck Choon, a 39-year-old pugilist who teaches swordfighting at a martial arts school near Lavender MRT station, was charged on Tuesday for possessing a scheduled weapon under Section 7(1)(a) of the Corrosive and Explosive Substances and Offensive Weapons Act.

He was also remanded at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) pending a psychiatric evaluation.

On Monday, while dressed partially in a samurai outfit and carrying a sheathed sword, he reportedly jumped the fare gate at Paya Lebar MRT station. Chua was later photographed wielding a drawn blade inside a train while fellow passengers standing behind security officers gave him a wide berth.

Chua was subsequently arrested about 15 minutes later near Bugis MRT station.

One of the pictures, which went viral on social media, was posted on Chua's Facebook page, without mentioning that he was the person in the photo. But other users left comments about how they suspected the man was him.

When The Straits Times visited the Eishin Ryu Iaido Singapore's dojo, where Chua taught, at the top floor of King George's Building yesterday, the premises were chained up. Nobody answered the door.

Neighbours said they seldom saw students practise at the 1,600 sq ft space during office hours, with most of the sessions taking place on evenings and weekends.

Students who did show up on weekdays came in office wear, and without swords, the neighbours added.

When approached for comment, an employee of Inwah, an automotive parts business run by the dojo's landlord, said the space was used solely by a taekwondo club.

"The students there are all children, and they don't use weapons," said the man, who wanted to be known only as Mr Tan.

He became hostile when showed pictures of the dojo interior, where a logo of Chua's club could be seen next to one belonging to the Singapore Taekwondo Federation.

Calls to Chua's residence went unanswered.

yanliang@sph.com.sg