SINGAPORE — Tin Pei Ling, Member of Parliament for MacPherson SMC, took to Instagram to share an alleged assault on a Bangladesh worker that occurred in MacPherson.
According to Ms Tin, a man who had previously harassed and broken the brooms of town council workers, punched the cleaner in the chest on Thursday night (9 Mar).
She shared that a site supervisor, Babul, was at the scene and had asked the person to stop harassing the cleaners, but he became violent and punched one of them.
“This man, likely intoxicated, then decided to hunt down one of the other cleaners and punched him in the chest.”
She said the victim sought medical attention following the attack. She expressed her dismay over the incident and stressed that violence should not be condoned.
The victim, Ahammed Siyam, is the son of Babul.
Accompanied by Ms Tin, 48-year-old Babul described how the man had previously harassed other cleaners, and had become violent when he punched a cleaner.
Babul added that this was not the first time he had asked the man to stop harassing the cleaners, but the man would still break and throw away things like their brooms and mops.
“Many time I talked to the resident, don’t disturb our cleaner, don’t throw our thing, but (he )don’t want to listen, ” Babul expressed his disappointment that his son was being attacked by the person.
Ms Tin stressed that workers deserve to be respected and called for residents to work together to create a kinder society and prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.
Ms Tin said police aware of the incident
She also noted that investigations are ongoing and the police are aware of the incident.
According to the Straits Times, Sakthivelan Nararajah, managing director of NRT Trading and Engineering, which is contracted by the town council, confirmed that the incident happened at about 11 am on Thursday at the void deck of Block 87 Circuit Road.
He explained that Babul had previously asked the man to stop harassing the cleaners, but the police had not been involved previously because the man had not been violent.
He alleged that the man had verbally abused the cleaners by hurling vulgarities at them, and often hung around the estate drinking beer.
“Babul has been working with me for more than 10 years. If our cleaners were unfairly treated, he would always voice it out, ” Mr Sakthivelan said.
Netizens showing solidarity with community migrant workers
Netizens expressed their sympathy towards Mr Babul and his son following the unfortunate incident and called for the police to investigate the matter.
An Instagram user mentioned that she had met Babul before and remembered him as someone who was always willing to lend a hand and interacted genuinely with everyone around him.
She also praised him for serving the community as part of the town council for many years and taking pride in his work.
“Just wanted to let you know that such actions by isolated individuals in no way represents how much we appreciate you”
Desmond Heng recalled that Babul being a responsible Town Council staff, “called him a few times previously for his assistance and he will always be here with his staff within 20 mins. Sad to hear such an incident happened today.”
Instagram user henadelwon emphasized the need for respect towards workers like Babul and recognized his responsibility in his job. The user also wished Babul’s son a speedy recovery, showing their concern for his well-being.
Another user hope that the police will handle the case and bring the perpetrator to justice. They condemned the attacker’s behavior, stating that being drunk is not an excuse for such violent actions.
A netizen even expressed their support for Babul and his son by inviting them to Chinatown for a meal of duck rice:
Some netizens also wondered why it has to reach this stage for the police to intervene since there is a Protection from Harassment Act 2014 (POHA) which is intended to deter such acts.