Training restrictions during NS will seriously impact Joseph Schooling's career, say ex-national swimmers
SINGAPORE: Not allowing Joseph Schooling time off to train while in National Service (NS) will have serious repercussions on the Olympic champion's career, said former national swimmers whom reporters spoke to.
The decision was made by the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) following Schooling's admission that he consumed cannabis overseas in May, while on short-term disruption from NS to train and participate in the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
Given this "abuse of disruption privileges", Schooling will no longer be eligible for leave or disruption to train as well as compete while in NS, said MINDEF on Tuesday (Aug 30).
The 27-year-old enlisted for NS in January this year.
Schooling and fellow national swimmer Amanda Lim had been investigated by the Central Narcotics Bureau for possible offences related to the consumption of cannabis.
Both their urine tests came back negative.
Lim, 29, received a stern warning for possessing a "drug utensil", Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam said on Thursday.
'CAN'T AFFORD' TO TRAIN ON WEEKENDS ONLY
Retired athletes emphasised to reporters the need for Schooling to train consistently to maintain a high level of performance at the elite level.
In an interview with reporters in April, Schooling said his training schedule allowed him time in the pool twice a day - before he books into camp, and after he books out. He would also train on Saturdays.
"Given the circumstances where his privileges of coming out to train have been taken away, I think it's going to be very hard, especially for him, to retain the kind of level that he's used to," said 19-time SEA Games champion David Lim, adding that this could make things "ten-fold" more difficult for Schooling.
"At this level, the margins are so small. It is that extra few sessions a week that you put in that will give you the small margin, the edge."
Ex-national swimmer Tao Li also pointed out that each and every session counts. Should Schooling only be able to train on weekends, it would not be enough, she noted.
"You have to do like probably 10 sessions a week to keep at your level. If one or two days you’re not training, it makes a huge difference," she explained.
"Training is the foundation. The basic of basics. If you don't have training, no matter how talented you are, (there is) no point."
The 32-year-old Tao, who remains Singapore's only female swimmer to qualify for an Olympic final, said different training sessions serve different purposes.
"Every day (you have) different targets. Today we're doing long distance, the other day we're doing sprints. You miss one day, the other day you need to make up again," she stressed.
"At the highest level, you need to maintain (your level of excellence), before you can improve."
Former Olympian May Ooi said that only being able to train on weekends would effectively cripple one's career in "ways that cannot be recovered".
"You can't afford to only train two days a week, and try to maintain that competitiveness. Swimming is not one of those sports where you can do that," she explained.
Training on weekends only would mean that one is no longer a high-level athlete, said Lim. "You are a weekend swimmer ... You may not even make the team."
Tao, a multiple Asian Games medallist, said Schooling would also have expectations of himself.
"Maybe you make SEA Games, you make it on the team or you get a gold medal. What’s your expectations? But for him, he definitely doesn't want just the SEA Games level," she said.
"For Jo, the goal is different and people's expectations are different. When I was competing … 20 of us are going (to a meet) but they only look at you. They want the result from you. They are only writing about you, whether you are doing okay or badly."
She recalled how she had stopped competing despite clinching five gold medals at the 2015 SEA Games and making the 'B' qualifying mark for the 2016 Olympics.
"Even though I could go (to the Olympics) but I didn't feel that there was a need. If I just went there for top 16, or I cannot be better than the 2008 Games, there's no point for me to go," said Tao.
"People only look at the results, whether you're good or you're bad or you perform or you don’t."
She and Lim both noted the possibility of Schooling calling time on his career.
"(It's) for him to make the decision, but most likely I don't think he will continue," said Tao.
Lim said that nobody would come out on top of current circumstances.
"What’s the point of going to major Games when you are ill-prepared and you get flak from everybody?" he said.
"I don’t even see a win-win situation here, it's more of a lose-lose-lose situation … For us as supporters, for Singaporeans, for Jo himself, for the sport itself."
Secondary school discipline master admits taking more than 100 upskirt videos of teachers and students
SINGAPORE: For more than three years, the discipline master of a secondary school took more than 100 upskirt videos of his female colleagues and students.
He took 12 upskirt videos of at least seven female students using modus operandi such as inviting them into the discipline room.
On one occasion, he confiscated the phone of a student who had filmed upskirt videos of a teacher and used his own phone to record the videos for himself.
The 49-year-old man, who is married with three children, pleaded guilty on Friday (Sep 2) to three charges of insulting a woman's modesty. Another five charges will be taken into consideration for sentencing.
A gag order was imposed by the court barring the publication of his name, the victims' names and the school name.
The court heard that the man had worked at the school since 2008 and was the discipline master since 2015. He also taught Mandarin.
Between April 2015 and July 2018, he filmed 156 upskirt videos of at least 38 female colleagues, mostly teachers.
He would invite them to his work station for data entry purposes and would place his handphone under the victim's skirt while the victim was keying in data at his desk.
He invited female colleagues wearing skirts or dresses but not those wearing pants, and seldom invited male teachers to his work station for data entry.
The man also filmed 12 upskirt videos of at least seven female students between May 2015 and February 2018. He would take the student into the discipline room and film her while she was using the computer.
The court heard that the man would transfer the videos to an external hard disk via his office laptop. He did not share or publish the clips but "used them for his own sexual pleasure", the prosecutor said.
On one occasion, a male student was caught and punished by the school for filming two upskirt videos of a female teacher. On the pretext of retrieving evidence, the accused confiscated the student's phone and used his own phone to film the videos before transferring them to his collection.
His actions went on until July 2018, when a female teacher at the school lodged a police report, saying she suspected the accused had been taking upskirt videos of teachers including herself.
Police seized his hard disk and found 173 upskirt videos in the accused's possession. He titled each clip with the victim's names or initials or with descriptions.
Investigations also revealed that he had filmed an upskirt video of a female relative at a party his mother-in-law was hosting.
ACCUSED ABUSED POSITION: PROSECUTOR
The prosecutor asked for between 12 and 18 months' jail, saying that the accused abused the trust of his female colleagues and his position as discipline master. The victims who were students were especially vulnerable, and the accused exploited their deference to his authority as well as the trust their parents placed in the school and its faculty, she said.
However, she accepted that the accused was suffering from major depressive disorder at the time, after losing his mother in 2015. His wife also underwent surgery for medical ailments in 2016, after which their frequency of sexual intimacy "drastically diminished".
"However, while these factors invite some sympathy, they do not excuse the accused's conduct," said the prosecutor.
Defence lawyer Laurence Goh asked the court to order a mandatory treatment order suitability report. He said his client was suffering from "double depression" at the time of the offences.
A doctor with the Institute of Mental Health had said his disorder contributed to his offences, said Mr Goh.
The prosecutor objected to the defence's "conclusion" that the accused would not be able to undergo psychiatric treatment if he is sentenced to jail, calling this "leaping to conclusions".
The prison is "fully able to continue monitoring and treating his conditions", and the psychiatric unit of the Changi Medical Complex is administered by IMH, she said.
The judge noted the accused's mental conditions at the time and that there is a contributory link to his offending behaviour. She granted the defence's request to call for a mandatory treatment order suitability report, but stressed that even if he is found suitable, the court may not necessarily impose such an order.
He will return to court for sentencing in November.
SINGAPORE: A 25-year-old maid was sentenced to a month's jail on Friday (Sep 2) for stealing about S$4,600 from her employer's family.
She sent most of it home to Indonesia and used a portion to buy clothes, cosmetics and mobile phones.
Bela Kharisma Lut Fitriana made restitution of about S$3,500 using her salary that was kept by her employer. The court heard that she had no other finances to make up for the remainder.
Bela pleaded guilty to one charge of theft, with another charge taken into consideration.
The court heard that Bela began working for her employers in April 2020. She cooked for the family and did household chores, and was given access to the bedrooms of the first victim, a 42-year-old woman, as well as her 74-year-old father.
She found that the victim had a safe in a cupboard in her room, and saw the password written in a book. She also noticed that the victim's father would often leave his wallet in an unlocked drawer.
Between April and December 2021, Bela took at least S$1,468 from the safe and S$3,150 from the wallet.
She roped in a friend of hers, who was also a domestic helper, to remit a total of S$3,390 to her family in Indonesia over multiple occasions.
She also used the money to buy clothes, cosmetics, a watch and two mobile phones.
Meanwhile, the victims began noticing the missing cash. On Dec 30, 2021, the first victim questioned Bela about the missing money from the safe and wallet, and Bela admitted to stealing.
A police report was lodged and police seized 25 items that Bela had bought using the stolen money. These include jeans, jackets, shirts, liquid lipsticks, body lotion and night cream.
The prosecutor asked for one to two months' jail, saying Bela had committed the offences over a significant period of time. However, he also considered that restitution had been made.
Bela, who was unrepresented, asked for leniency through an interpreter. She said she would like to go home to Indonesia.
When the judge asked if she could make the rest of the restitution, Bela said she had no other resources and not enough money.
Her jail term was backdated to her date of arrest in August this year.
For theft in dwelling, she could have been jailed up to seven years and fined.
SINGAPORE - More electric motorcycles could soon ply Singapore roads, with two trials set to be launched by the Land Transport Authority (LTA).
The aim is to make it more convenient for users to swop their batteries.
This is part of the nation's push to make land transport and other sectors environmentally friendly.
The two applications that have been approved by the LTA are expected to start in September and run for 12 months.
The announcement was made on Friday at the Land Transport Industry Day, with Transport Minister S. Iswaran as chief guest.
To further support the move towards cleaner vehicles, new training and certification courses have also been launched. This initiative was first announced in May this year.
Technicians can sign up for subsidised courses and obtain the certification under the Workforce Skills Qualification framework developed by SkillsFuture Singapore. Three of these courses from Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Singapore Polytechnic and the Institute of Technical Education are now open for enrolment.
Along with the certification, employers with staff undergoing training will also be qualified for salary support of up to six months.
As for the battery trials, electric scooter company, Gogoro, and motor group Jardine Cycle & Carriage will partner each other to use 20 electric motorcycles and 100 swoppable batteries at two stations.
Separately, electric motorcycle fleet management specialist, MO Batteries, will work with Singpost and security company Prosegur.
Six electric motorcycles with 30 swoppable batteries will be used. There will be 14 chargers and two stations.
SINGAPORE - Companies found to have unsafe work conditions or poor risk controls may be barred from hiring new foreign workers.
In sounding the warning, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said that bosses of these companies will also need to personally account for these lapses.
The new measures are part of a six-month heightened safety period that kicked off on Thursday - a significant move to stem a worrying rise in the number of work-related deaths and injuries this year.
The number rose to 36 last week, one shy of the 37 recorded in the whole of last year.
From Thursday until Sept 15, companies in traditionally high risk sectors, such as construction and manufacturing, as well as sectors that use heavy or industrial vehicles like lorries and forklifts, will also need to allocate sufficient time to review safety procedures and conduct a safety time-out, MOM said on Thursday.
This is the first time such safety time-outs are being made mandatory.
The activities conducted as part of this will need to be documented, and this will be checked by MOM officers during routine inspections.
Companies that fail to comply will be barred from hiring new foreign workers for a month.
The construction sector was the top contributor of workplace fatalities this year, with 13 so far.
Hence, MOM will also introduce specific measures targeting the industry from Oct 1 onwards.
First, the demerit points system for construction firms here will be tightened, with the threshold for points to be awarded lowered.
Previously, firms would start to incur demerit points after being fined four times for safety lapses. With the stricter regime, demerit points will be awarded from the first fine onwards.
The number of demerit points given for serious accidents will also be raised from 18 to 25, giving it equal weight as fatal accidents.
MOM also gave more details about the standardised criteria that will be used by the public sector to disqualify unsafe companies from participating in public construction tenders.
From Oct 1, main contractors and first-level sub-contractors that accrue 25 demerit points or are enrolled in MOM's Business Under Surveillance programme will be disqualified from public construction tenders for a period between three months and two years.
Meanwhile, a multi-sectoral workplace safety taskforce will be set up to conduct deep dives into the work practices and structures within specific industries.
The taskforce will be chaired by Senior Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad, and comprise safety consultants as well as industry representatives.
The taskforce will also be advised by external experts.
The government agencies involved in the taskforce also include the Ministry of National Development, Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
The recent spate of fatal accidents has continued despite increased penalties, stepped up inspections and repeated exhortations by the authorities for firms and workers to take workplace safety seriously.
In the past week alone, there were three separate fatal accidents, involving two migrant workers from Bangladesh and a Singaporean worker.
Following the most recent spate of fatal accidents, MOM issued a statement expressing deep concern about the high number of workplace fatalities this year, noting also that there have been five workplace deaths in August alone.
"We reiterate that employers must take more responsibility over the safety of all their workers," the ministry said.
"All workers must also place safety as their priority, watch out for unsafe workplace practices, and bring them to the attention of supervisors and MOM."
In a Facebook post on Wednesday, National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) assistant secretary-general Melvin Yong said the recent spate of accidents serves as a wake-up call for companies and workers here.
"It is never too late to develop corrective and preventive measures to prevent future reoccurrences," Mr Yong said following a visit to SMRT's Bishan Depot, where he was briefed about the rail operator's safety practices.
"NTUC calls on all companies, big or small, to take immediate steps to carry out a comprehensive appraisal of their risk assessment and enhance risk controls."
SINGAPORE - All train services and selected bus services will run later during the Formula One Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix from Sept 30 to Oct 2.
The race, making a comeback after a two-year break due to the pandemic, will take place around the Marina Centre and Padang area.
Train services will be available at City Hall MRT station till 12.30am on Sept 30 and Oct 1, and till 12.45am on Oct 2.
The operating hours for selected feeder bus services will also be extended to match the last train services, said the Land Transport Authority (LTA) in a statement on Thursday.
Members of the public and F1 ticket holders are encouraged to use public transport or take a taxi to get to the Marina Centre and Padang area between Sept 28 and Oct 3.
Roads in the area will be closed from Sept 28, from 12.01am, and will be progressively opened after the race. Traffic flow will be back to normal by Oct 4 at 5.30am, the LTA said.
Affected roads include Nicoll Highway, Beach Road and Collyer Quay.
To ease morning and evening peak-hour traffic, some roads will be opened at selected hours, the LTA said.
Due to the road closures, 33 SBS Transit bus services will skip some of the bus stops along their regular routes, said the transport operator.
On Oct 1 and 2, those who drive can access the Marina Centre area by a single lane in Raffles Boulevard via Nicoll Highway or Temasek Boulevard from 12am to 1pm.
Taxis will also be able to use the single-lane access, except during the hours when the races are ongoing on Oct 1 and 2.
Carparks in Suntec City, Millenia Walk and Marina Square will remain open.
More information can be found at this website.
SINGAPORE: About 159,000 lower-wage workers will earn at least S$1,400 under a new local qualifying salary (LQS) requirement that kicks in on Thursday (Sep 1).
These are workers who are not in sectors covered by the progressive wage model (PWM).
Part-time local workers will also benefit from the new LQS requirement, as they will need to be paid at least S$9 in gross wages per hour.
LQS has been revised four times in the last five years and has risen from S$1,000 in 2016, to S$1,400. Employers will need to pay all their local workers at least S$1,400 in order to hire any foreign worker.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in last year's National Day Rally that the PWM and other measures to raise the salaries of lower-wage workers will be rolled out to more people, extending to eight in 10 lower-wage workers over the next few years.
Two other changes to wage schemes will also take effect on Sep 1.
First, the retail progressive wage model will be implemented, benefitting about 19,000 full-time retail workers, said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in a press release on Wednesday.
The ministry added the entry-level retail PWM wage will grow 18 per cent over a three-year period.
Second, the PWM for cleaning, security and landscape sectors - which originally applied only to outsourced workers - will be extended to cover those working in-house as well. This benefit about 19,000 full-time lower-wage workers, said MOM.
In total, 197,000 full-time lower-wage workers will benefit from the new progressive wage moves. This includes the new LQS requirement, and the introduction of the PWM for retail workers, as well as for in-house cleaners, security officers and landscape workers.
MOM said that employers are required to assess if their workers are performing a job role covered by a PWM by referring to the PWM job descriptions on MOM’s website. Employers must then update and submit their workers’ PWM job roles, if any, through MOM’s Occupational Employment Dataset portal.
From September 2022 to February 2023, tripartite partners will focus on educating employers on the various progressive wage requirements, with employers given time to adjust and comply, said MOM.
To support employers as they adjust to the progressive wage requirements, the Government is co-funding the wage increases given to lower-wage workers through the Progressive Wage Credit Scheme (PWCS), said MOM.
The PWCS will run for five years from 2022 to 2026.
Employers are urged to use this period of support from the Government to accelerate firm-level productivity improvements, so that the wage increases remain sustainable for employers in the long run, said MOM.
New digital bank by Standard Chartered and NTUC to launch savings account and ‘numberless’ credit card
SINGAPORE: Trust Bank, the latest digital bank to announce its launch in Singapore, said on Thursday (Sep 1) that it is rolling out a range of products including a savings account and a “numberless” credit card that allows customers to choose their repayment date.
The savings account will offer a “market-leading” base rate and allow customers to earn up to 1.4 per cent of interest on their deposits, said the new bank formed by Standard Chartered and FairPrice Group.
The base rate is 1 per cent on the first S$50,000 of deposits, with NTUC Union Members getting to enjoy a bonus interest of 0.4 per cent when they make five eligible purchases with the bank’s credit card. Non-members will enjoy a bonus interest of 0.2 per cent on the same purchases.
Chief executive officer Dwaipayan Sadhu told reporters that the bank currently offers “one of the highest” base rates for savings accounts. While the bank reviews its rates on a weekly or monthly basis depending on market developments and overall interest rate movements, it has no plans to make adjustments to its rates anytime soon.
“One of the things that we pride ourselves on is that we must have a sustainable offer which we will be able to sustain over time,” he said.
The new bank's “numberless” card will offer the dual functionality of a credit and debit card. Cardholders will not have to pay fees, such as an annual fee and foreign transaction fee, and will be able to choose their repayment date.
In addition as a promotional launch rate until December, the digital bank is giving up to 21 per cent NTUC Linkpoints rebates on its credit card for NTUC members and 15 per cent savings for non-members.
Trust Bank is also offering a family personal accident insurance developed by Income. This comes at a premium of S$0.50 per month and has no limit to the number of dependents covered. The policy will be available at no premiums for the first two months when a customer signs up for the bank’s credit card.
These products, which will be available via the bank’s app, were built based on “extensive feedback” received during its user testing period.
The new bank is touting a “differentiated customer experience”, with customers being able to sign up “in minutes” with their SingPass accounts and use their digital cards immediately.
Speaking at the launch, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Lawrence Wong said Trust Bank will add to the diversity of the local banking system and help strengthen Singapore’s digital economy.
He added that the launch is timely, as it comes amid an acceleration in the society’s adoption of digital services due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“With this greater digital adoption in financial services, there is much potential for the banking sector to relook how to do things differently and serve customers better,” Mr Wong said, noting how digital banks can reach out to under-served segments better with the use of data and technology.
Mr Wong also encouraged the new virtual bank to protect customers from ever-evolving banking scams and maintain a high level of data security.
Trust Bank, which is 60 per cent owned by Standard Chartered and 40 per cent by NTUC’s enterprise arm, obtained a full bank licence in December 2020. The bank’s shareholders have invested about US$400 million.
The launch comes a day after Grab and Singtel, which have jointly been awarded a "digital full bank" licence, unveiled their digital bank – GXS – and its first product.
Technology firm Sea holds the other full bank licence issued by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) nearly two years ago, as part of liberalising the financial industry.
Apart from full bank licences, the MAS also gave out two licences for digital wholesale banks targeting small- and medium-size enterprises and other non-retail segments. Both virtual banks – Ant ANEXT Bank and the Green Link Digital Bank – have launched in June.
In general, virtual banks offer services that one can expect from conventional banks, such as accepting deposits, loans, facilitating payments and loans, except that these will be performed online as digital banks do not have physical branches.
TO HAVE ATMS, CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE CENTRE
But to cater to existing needs for cash bills, Trust Bank will have its own ATMs, said Mr Sadhu who described this as “a very big” differentiator from its competitors who operate fully online.
“We want (customers) to move entirely cashless. We want them to move fully digital, but it's a journey. While cash usage is coming down, there are still some places where you need cash,” he told reporters.
Trust Bank’s ATM will be located in the FairPrice outlet at VivoCity. Customers can also access their accounts through Standard Chartered’s ATMs across Singapore.
The new bank aims to be “as inclusive as possible” and is hoping to attract all segments of customers in Singapore, including those from the older generation.
Noting that there remains a “small set of customers who may not be very digitally comfortable yet”, Mr Sadhu said a customer experience centre will be set up at VivoCity’s FairPrice outlet in the coming weeks.
“This customer experience centre is not a bank branch. We do not accept cash. We do not accept cheques, we do not do any of the banking transactions,” he stressed.
“What this does is it takes the client on the digital journey. It shows the client how to sign up, how to safely and securely (access) digital banking, and essentially answers questions (a customer) may have towards a digital bank.”
The latest digital bank entrant currently has 200 full-time employees and intends to hire more as it expands its products and services.
Ms Judy Hsu, Standard Chartered's chief executive officer of consumer, private and business banking described the digital bank’s initial products as a “well-rounded suite of savings, credit and protection solutions coupled with rewarding lifestyle offers and benefits”.
“By integrating Trust's digital-first services seamlessly into customers' everyday lives, Trust is making banking accessible, secured and effortless for everyone,” she added.
FairPrice Group’s chairman Kee Teck Koon said: “Trust's credit card and savings account will empower our customers to enjoy savings from groceries to food and everyday spend via seamless integration with FairPrice Group's Link Rewards programme, while benefitting NTUC union members with an easier way to earn higher Linkpoint rebates and savings account interest.
“Together with the trusted partnership of Standard Chartered, we are confident that the synergies created through our combined strengths and heritage will make Trust's banking solutions convenient and accessible for all.”
SINGAPORE - A single mother has become the thirteenth person to be handed a jail sentence for her role in a ruse which saw forged documents submitted to Citibank to secure loans.
Kiran Kaur, 29, was on Monday (Aug 29) sentenced to six months' jail for cheating.
The court heard that between September and October 2018, the consumer division of Citigroup received and approved about 20 loan applications which were later found to contain forged income documents.
Each loan involved between $12,000 and $24,000.
Kaur was jobless and facing financial difficulties when she responded to an advertisement in September 2018 for a "fast cash" job on online marketplace Carousell, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Dhiraj G. Chainani .
Through the ad, she contacted a man known only as "Charles" via messaging platform WhatsApp.
Charles, whose identity was not mentioned in court papers, told her he could help her obtain a loan from Citibank.
The DPP said: "The accused told Charles that she was not working at that time and did not have any Central Provident Fund contributions in order to apply for a bank loan.
"Charles told the accused not to worry and that the accused did not need to satisfy the requisite income level to qualify for a bank loan."
He got Kaur to divulge her Singpass login details and told her to meet an unidentified man outside a Citibank branch at MacDonald House in Orchard Road, to collect a set of documents for the loan application.
She did as she was told and received documents which falsely stated that she was working for another bank and earning $6,700 a month for July and August that year.
The court heard that Charles then told her to look for Citibank contract staff Kirk Chua Min Xuan, 29 at the Citibank branch.
Her loan application was submitted on Sept 10, 2018 and later approved.
In total, Kaur received $13,490 in cash but she claimed she kept $4,000 and gave the rest to the man who gave her the forged documents.
Charles had instructed her to do this, she said.
On Oct 2 that year, a Citibank representative made a police report that the bank had approved loans based on falsified income documents.
Kaur was identified as one of the applicants.
Twelve other offenders linked to the ruse were dealt with in court earlier.
Chua's case is still pending. In an earlier statement, the bank said that he has not been working on Citibank-related matters since 2019.
The court heard that Kaur has since made a restitution of $4,000.
Her bail was set at $10,000 on Monday and she was ordered to surrender herself at the State Courts on Sept 26 to begin serving her sentence.
For cheating, she could have been jailed for up to 10 years and fined.
SINGAPORE: A woman was on Monday (Aug 29) jailed for three weeks for scalding her ex-boyfriend with hot water during an argument.
Shazila Akbar Bacha, 25, pleaded guilty to one count of voluntarily causing hurt to the victim. Another similar charge was considered for sentencing.
The court heard that Shazila and the 31-year-old victim were previously in a relationship, and had broken up at the time of the offence.
On Jul 18, 2021, Shazila and the victim both separately went to visit their friend. They chanced upon each other along the corridor outside their friend's flat.
They got into a verbal dispute at the staircase landing near the flat, during which Shazila slapped her ex-boyfriend's cheek.
Both then went into their friend's flat, where another verbal dispute started. Shazila asked the victim why he was still there even though she had slapped him.
Shazila was also upset as the victim had made some comments that she was unable to take care of her son, Deputy Public Prosecutor Chong Kee En said.
She went into the kitchen and filled an orange plastic cup a quarter full with hot water from the dispenser. Shazila then dared the victim to repeat his statements about her not being able to care for her son.
The victim did so and Shazila threw the hot water on his chest, before throwing the cup on the floor.
The victim felt pain on his chest and called the police for assistance. He visited a clinic the next day and was found to have a first degree burn below his collarbone as a result of the incident.
He was given three days of medical leave and prescribed antibiotics and pain relief medication.
The prosecutor sought a jail term, arguing that Shazila was not provoked as she had challenged the victim to repeat his comments before splashing hot water on him.
Mr Chong also argued that the use of hot water was aggravating given the difficulty of controlling it, and the danger as it could affect greater surface areas.
Defence lawyer Mahadevan Lukshumayeh contended that Shazila had received harassing messages from the victim.
The penalty for voluntarily causing hurt is up to three years' jail, a fine of up to S$5,000 or both.