Seven years ago, he was cruelly mocked for his poor diction in a self-introduction video when he represented the country as Mr Singapore World 2010.
Hu Hanxiong, now 31, is back in the news - for all the wrong reasons. He was jailed for three months yesterday after pleading guilty to causing grievous hurt to a cabby by performing a rash act.
Hu and a friend, Mr Terry Tay Wee Seng, had boarded a taxi driven by Mr Lee Yew Chye, 47, at the Esplanade at around 4.20am on May 24, 2015. The pair had earlier consumed alcoholic drinks at a birthday celebration.
Mr Lee was directed to drive to Jurong. While the taxi was on the Ayer Rajah Expressway, the drunk duo vomited into plastic bags the cabby had given them. The fare was $41.25 when Mr Lee arrived at his passengers' destination at a block of flats in Jurong West Street 64.
Hu, a sales executive, alighted without paying and went up a flight of stairs at the block. Mr Tay stepped outside and sat on a nearby bench. Hu returned shortly afterwards and told Mr Lee he wanted to take his friend home. He still refused to pay the fare when the cabby asked for it.
Following a dispute, Mr Lee called for police assistance. He then tried to stop Hu and Mr Tay from taking a lift on the ground floor by leaning against the door.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Jotham Tay said Hu then pushed Mr Lee to get him out of the way and "threw punches at the victim's face". "While along the corridor, the accused grabbed the victim's arms and swung him towards a wall, causing the victim's head to hit the (edge) of the wall," said the DPP.
The blow caused a 15cm cut on the right side of Mr Lee's forehead, leaving him dazed and unable to see clearly.
A medical note dated June 19, 2015, stated Mr Lee would have a permanent scar on his forehead, scalp and face, with nerve damage.
He incurred $3,158.92 in medical expenses and was placed on medical leave for 35 days. He also incurred $5,950 in loss of earnings.
DPP Tay told District Judge Low Wee Ping that Hu had made full restitution of $9,108.92 on Tuesday and urged the court to jail the accused for three months as Mr Lee had serious injuries.
Hu's lawyer, Mr Faizal Shah, asked for his client to be given the minimum possible sentence, saying "the injury suffered by the victim arose out of his own actions in restraining our client".
Hu, who spent six weeks in remand, could have been jailed for up to four years and fined up to $10,000.