Tour guide with schizophrenia given mandatory treatment order for attacking Sikh man

SINGAPORE - In an unprovoked attack, a tour guide with a history of schizophrenia pushed a Sikh man, yanked his turban off and pulled his hair.

Gan Kian Seng, 46, was sentenced to a mandatory treatment order (MTO) for one year and six months on Thursday (Dec 20) after pleading guilty in September to one count each of assaulting and using criminal force on Mr Saranpal Singh Bhaliwal Peram Singh, 30.

Offenders given an MTO have to undergo treatment for their mental condition in lieu of jail time.

The order can be revoked if they reoffend or fail to comply with the conditions of their treatment.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Jason Chua said that Gan was crossing the road at the junction of Kitchener Road and Jalan Besar at around 8.40pm on April 23 when he gestured at an unknown pedestrian.

After pushing the man who was not named in court documents, Gan turned his attention to Mr Singh who was standing nearby.

The DPP said: "The accused then turned and went to push the victim (Mr Singh), who was standing by the side of the road and facing away from the accused, for no reason at all.

"The accused gestured at the victim and pulled the victim's turban off his head and dropped it on the ground. The accused then pulled the victim's hair."

The court heard that Mr Singh pushed Gan away when he approached him again.

Gan then slapped the younger man who retaliated and landed a few punches on him.

DPP Chua said: "In the course of the altercation, the accused also uttered racial slurs at the victim. The accused and the victim thereafter stopped fighting and a crowd gathered around the area."

Mr Singh did not seek medical attention after the incident and Gan has since sent him a letter of apology.

For assault, Gan could have been jailed for up to two years and fined up to $5,000.

For using criminal force, he could have been jailed for up to three months and fined up to $1,500.