SINGAPORE - While serving his national service with the Singapore Police Force, Muhd Firdaus Abdullah was himself on the wrong side of the law - trafficking drugs and harbouring an alleged murderer.
The special constable attached to the Special Operations Command (SOC) was also a secret society member.
On Wednesday (May 30), Firdaus, 20, was jailed for six years and two months, with five strokes of the cane. He had pleaded guilty last month to one count each of harbouring an alleged murderer, failing to report for his national service duties and possessing, consuming and trafficking drugs.
The court heard that on March 12 last year, four other members from the same secret society were involved in an attack on two men near St James Power Station.
They are: part-time mover Muhammad Khalid Kamarudin, 22, Muhammad Faizal Md Jamal, 23, who was then serving his national service with the Singapore Civil Defence Force, former restaurant assistant manager Muhammad Hisham Hassan, 28 and waiter Shawalludin Sa'adon, 27, who worked at Postbar within St James Power Station.
The men who got attacked were Mr Satheesh Kumar Manogaran, 35, who was fatally stabbed and his cousin, Mr Naveen Lal Pillar, 29, who suffered a stab wound at the back of his head.
Mr Satheesh had been having drinks at Postbar before the attack took place. The Straits Times had earlier reported that he was then involved in an incident involving Shawalludin, who claimed that Mr Satheesh had tried to punch him.
Mr Satheesh was then pulled back by a friend while Shawalludin's superiors told the waiter to step out of the premises.
Feeling aggrieved, Shawalludin called and messaged Hisham, asking him to rally members of their gang to act as "backups" in a fight.
Hisham then headed to Postbar and messaged the other members of his secret society to join him. Khalid, who had a knife, asked Faizal to accompany him.
According to court documents, Khalid and Faizal later confronted Mr Satheesh and Mr Naveen and stabbed, kicked and punched the pair.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Kelly Ho said that after the attack, Khalid and Faizal fled the scene in a taxi. Khalid contacted Firdaus telling him that he had stabbed somebody and needed shelter.
Instead of informing the police, Firdaus told Khalid and Faizal to seek refuge at his brother's Aljunied flat. Firdaus met the pair there at around 6.15am.
DPP Ho said: "The accused knew that Khalid and Faizal would be arrested but provided such shelter with the intent to screen Khalid from legal punishment. The accused did so despite the knowledge that Khalid had committed murder, an offence punishable with death."
At around 10am, Firdaus phoned Hisham who told him to go to his godmother's flat in Yishun along with Khalid and Faizal. Firdaus, Khalid and Hisham were arrested there at around 8pm the next day.
After he was released on bail, Firdaus, who was deployed as an operator in the SOC's operations room, failed to turn up for duties without a valid reason on March 29 last year.
He continued to remain absent until Aug 16 last year when he was arrested for drug trafficking.
In January, Hisham was jailed for 18 months for harbouring Khalid. The cases involving Khalid, Faizal and Shawalludin are still pending.