'Talk to rich people nicely, you're a poor girl': 2 women fined $3k each for verbally abusing auxiliary police officer

Chee Kam Fah (left) and Koh Lee Yen pleaded guilty each to one count of using insulting words against a public service worker.
Chee Kam Fah (left) and Koh Lee Yen pleaded guilty each to one count of using insulting words against a public service worker.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

SINGAPORE - The victim was merely doing her job but had to suffer insults such as "talk to rich people nicely, you're a poor girl".

These words came from two women after an auxiliary police officer approached them for smoking outside a designated area.

Koh Lee Yen, 50, and Chee Kam Fah, 49, were each fined $3,000 on Wednesday (Sept 8).

They each pleaded guilty to one count of using insulting words against a public service worker.

Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority records show that Koh and Chee are shareholders and directors of jewellery retailer Gold Star Resources. They also hold shares in other companies while Chee is a director in various firms.

The court heard that the incident occurred on Sept 21 last year, outside shopping mall Lucky Plaza in Orchard Road.

Ms Asyikah Suri Kamsari was on duty with her colleague in the area. She was authorised under the National Environment Agency to carry out enforcement action against public health offenders.

She spotted Koh and Chee smoking outside the designated area and approached them for their personal particulars, so that she could issue a summons to them.

The duo started verbally abusing her as she was recording Koh's details.

They uttered phrases such as "your salary how much, one thousand only one month I think" and "crazy girl, better go back and hug your pillow and cry, your salary not enough for me to buy a pillow... ".

Chee also used a vulgar word while Koh additionally scolded the officer in Mandarin and Cantonese.

Chee then waved a $1,000 note at the victim, as Koh said: "You should just shut up and take the money."

The duo's actions were captured on Ms Asyikah's body-worn camera. She lodged a police report later the same day.

Urging the court to impose a fine of between $3,000 and $4,000 for each woman, State Prosecuting Officer Nasri Haron said the abuse was prolonged and "calculated to insult and degrade".

"The victim was merely doing her job," he added.

Both women said in mitigation that they were stressed at that time.

Koh said she was upset as she had seen Ms Asyikah let two men go despite catching them for a similar act of smoking outside a designated area.

But District Judge Jasbendar Kaur replied that it was a different matter from using insulting words at the officer.

The judge also said being stressed was not an excuse for the women to verbally abuse the victim.

For using insulting words towards a public service worker, Koh and Chee could have been each jailed for up to a year, or fined up to $5,000, or both.