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One year after assault, investigations still ongoing?

Andrew Loh /

On 11 April last year, three friends tried to help a taxi driver who was being heckled and assaulted by a group of four Caucasian men at the taxi stand at Suntec City Tower 5. Instead, the three do-gooders were pounced on by the Caucasian group, with two of them eventually having to be admitted to the hospital for treatment.

The incident took place around midnight that day. The Caucasian men, who were apparently drunk and “running around and swinging their glasses in the air” had approached a taxi. The driver declined to pick them up as he was waiting for another passenger. The group then started to heckle the driver and jumped on the bonnet of the car. Eventually they punched the driver and dragged him out of the car and wanted to drive off.

This seemed to set off a series of events which led to the eventual assault of three passers-by who tried to help the taxi driver. (Read TNP report here and here.)

Mr Laurence Wong, one of the three men, had helped the police by providing as much information as he could, even revisiting the scene of the assault one week later to take pictures on which he marked out where the assault took place, and where the closed-circuit cameras were located. He also managed to obtain pictures and identify three of the four assailants who he suspected, from the formal attire they had on, had been attending an event at Suntec City earlier that night.

He said he handed the information to the police to help them speed up the investigation.

However, one year on, a police spokesman – who described the incident as a “scuffle” - said “investigations are still ongoing”, according to the 11 May 2011 report by The New Paper (TNP).

From what Mr Wong told TNP and The Online Citizen (TOC), the incident, which happened past-midnight on 11 April 2010, seemed more than just a scuffle and a serious assault involving multiple assailants. Mr Paul Louis Liew, one of the three men who tried to help the taxi driver, was “slammed” against the “sharp corner of [a] pillar twice” and was kicked in his head after he had fallen down. “That was when I heard a very loud ‘pop’ sound,” Mr Wong tells TOC. “As if a small balloon burst under pressure... I heard Paul giving out a loud and long sigh seconds after the ‘pop’ sound.” Mr Wong describes how blood was “pouring out from [Mr Liew’s] forehead.”

Ah Heng, one of the three friends, was badly beaten as well. Mr Wong recalls: “Another Caucasian pounced on Ah Heng and kept punching him on his face. Ah Heng fell on the ground and the Caucasian man kept kicking Ah Heng on his face (while he was lying helpless on the floor). I can clearly remember what he said while kicking Ah Heng.” Mr Wong relates the vulgarities the man used each time he laid blows on Ah Heng’s face.

One of the alleged assailants in the taxi

Since the incident, the friends have inquired about the status of the investigation several times with the police. When they asked again in January, they were told that the case has been submitted to the Attorney-General’s Office. When the friends asked if the four culprits were still in Singapore, they said they were told that they are but that “they are allowed to leave the country as and when they want”, according to Mr Wong.

“Just in February, my girlfriend and I saw the Caucasian man (who had assaulted Paul) drunk and disturbing local girls in Clark Quay,” Mr Wong says. “He was with a group of Caucasian men at that time. They were singing and shouting at the top of their voices, while the locals just shy away [from them]. I didn't want to approach him due to our personal safety.”

“Did they think that nothing will happen to them because the law has not caught up with them yet after more than a year?”