Consultant jailed 6 months for dumping dying worker

Myanmar painter left on road pavement after he fell from roof

Two brothers drove a severely injured Myanmar worker around and later dumped the dying man on the pavement outside a well-known eatery about 11/2 hours later.

The worker, Mr Myo Min Aung, 28, was working as a freelance painter for Muhammad Hidayat Abdul Rahman, 41, when he fell 11.7m from the link roof of VivoCity just before midnight on Oct 6, 2013.

He had been drinking before working with a compatriot at a worksite in HarbourFront Walk.

Yesterday, Hidayat, a freelance rope access consultant, was jailed for six months after admitting to dumping Mr Myo Min Aung on a pavement in Upper Circular Road at about 1.20am on Oct 7, 2013. His brother, Azhar, 45, then the safety supervisor, was sentenced to six months' jail in December last year.

Hidayat was also fined $80,000 for breaching the Workplace Safety and Health Act and $5,000 for employing Mr Myo Min Aung when the latter did not have a valid work permit to work for him between Sept 30 and Oct 6 that year. He will serve a default sentence of two months and two weeks as he could not pay the fines.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Kelly Ho said Hidayat was formerly a project manager with LTC Coatings when he got to know the victim and Mr Min Aung Myat Min. Mr Myo Min Aung subsequently moonlighted for Hidayat to earn extra money.

Investigations showed the two Myanmar workers reported to Azhar for work at VivoCity at about 11.20pm on Oct 6. Both had been drinking. When informed that the duo appeared intoxicated, especially Mr Myo Min Aung who reeked of alcohol and was unsteady on his feet, Hidayat told Azhar not to allow Mr Myo Min Aung to work, but this was not done.

As there were inadequate lighting facilities at the roof for the painting works, Azhar instructed Mr Min Aung Myat Min to install spotlights on the roof of the link bridge.

Some time between 11.45pm and midnight, the two painters went up to the roof of the link bridge. Mr Min Aung Myat Min was lowering an electrical cable to Azhar when he found it was entangled.

He called out to his compatriot for help but there was no response. He then walked over to the area where Mr Myo Min Aung was and found him lying on the ground floor.

At 12.03am, Azhar called Hidayat and told him what had happened.

The injured painter, who was unconscious, was put in the back seat of Hidayat's car at the multi-storey carpark, and his clothes were changed to cover up the fact that he was injured while working for Hidayat illegally.

Hidayat then drove to the ground floor, where Mr Min Aung Myat Min got out and Azhar entered the car. They drove around for 30 minutes before dumping the painter in Upper Circular Road. Azhar then called for an ambulance at 1.24am.

The "anonymous'' call was later traced to Azhar's mobile phone.

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

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.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 21, 2016, with the headline 'Consultant jailed 6 months for dumping dying worker'. Print Edition | Subscribe