Contractor jailed for threatening Grab driver with car steering lock

SINGAPORE - Angry with a Grab driver for breaking his appointment to return a mobile phone which he had left behind, a contractor threatened the driver with a car steering lock and got into a fight with him.

On Tuesday (Feb 13), Malaysian Ng Seng Hui, 28, was sentenced to five months' jail after he admitted to criminal intimidation, affray and drug consumption. A mischief charge was taken into consideration during his sentencing.

It all started on June 2 last year, when Grab driver Muhammad Asrul Ja'afar, 25, picked up Ng and his Malaysian friend, Chai Kim Onn, 24, in his Honda Stream car, a court heard.

Ng, a construction contractor, left his mobile phone behind in the Honda after reaching his destination.

The next day, Ng contacted Asrul and suggested that he deliver the phone to him at a hotel in Geylang where he was staying. Ng offered to pay a small fee for it.

But Ng got unhappy when Asrul, who had at first arranged to to deliver the phone to Ng that evening, later asked to postpone the delivery as he received a "high fare'' job in Jurong.

Two days later, Asrul went to meet Ng at the hotel to deliver the phone.

Ng's friend Chai collected the phone and passed $25 to Asrul, who was waiting in his car with his wife.

But this was not the end of it, as Ng approached Asrul, armed with a car steering lock. Angry with the Grab driver for not keeping the previous appointment, Ng pointed the lock at Asrul and demanded that he alight from his car.

Asrul remained in the car as he was afraid that Ng would hurt his wife. Ng then used the steering lock to hit Asrul's car, causing a dent.

Asrul got out and punched Ng, who dodged and then fought back.

When Ng fell onto the pavement, Chai joined in the fight, and used a triangular vehicle breakdown sign to hit Asrul, who ended up punching Chai.

Asrul has also been charged with affray, but his case is pending.

A passing motorist separated the three parties. Asrul lodged a police report.

Asrul incurred $750 in repair costs and more than $8,000 in medical fees for a right knee injury which required surgery. Chai has been fined $2,000 for fighting in public.

Ng, who admitted taking drugs on March 22 last year, has a previous conviction for affray.

Correction note: An earlier version of the story wrongly stated the amount of Chai's fine. This has been corrected.