SAF regular who flung hot soup at hawker assistant over wrong order fined $5,000

Kelvin Tan Chun Long was fined the maximum $5,000 in court on Feb 18, 2022, for the offence. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

SINGAPORE - Unhappy that a hawker assistant prepared for him fried bean curd instead of fried bean curd skin, a man flung a blue plastic bag containing a container of hot soup in her direction.

Kelvin Tan Chun Long, who is a Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) regular, was fined the maximum $5,000 in court on Friday (Feb 18) for the offence.

The 28-year-old pleaded guilty on Dec 13 last year to one charge of causing hurt by a rash act.

In response to queries from The Straits Times, the Ministry of Defence said on Friday that Tan - who holds the rank of captain - is currently suspended from duties.

It added: "The Ministry of Defence and the SAF will be reviewing his case for the purpose of discharge proceedings."

Deputy Public Prosecutor Melina Chew said in court documents that Tan had gone to the coffee shop in Woodlands Drive 71 and bought takeaway food from the stall at about 1pm on June 6, 2020.

About 15 minutes later, Tan returned to the stall to collect his order. The mistaken order by the hawker assistant - a 53-year-old Singaporean woman - was the result of a miscommunication between the pair.

DPP Chew said: "The accused became unhappy when the victim informed the accused that she could not redo his order, as the food had already been cooked."

As he turned away, Tan pushed a plastic bag containing his order, which fell from the counter onto the floor.

He then walked towards the nearest table where he had placed other takeaway food he had bought from other stalls.

"As he reached the table, (he) picked up and flung a blue plastic bag containing a container of hot soup towards the direction of the victim," said DPP Chew.

The bag hit the woman's body, spilling the hot soup. She immediately felt a burning sensation on the right side of her waist.

Tan promptly walked away, but several passers-by who saw the incident gave chase, and Tan returned to apologise to the hawker assistant.

A report was lodged by a police officer on patrol duty later that day.

The hawker assistant, who sought medical attention at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital on the same day, suffered a superficial partial thickness burn wound on the right side of her abdomen and was given three days of medical leave.

After seeking follow-up medical attention at a polyclinic, she was given eight more days of medical leave.

Apart from the fine, Tan could also have been jailed for up to a year for causing hurt by a rash act.

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