Oh Ann Hock v Public Prosecutor

CourtMagistrates' Court (Singapore)
JudgeGilbert Low Teik Seang
Judgment Date30 May 2002
Neutral Citation[2002] SGMC 9
Citation[2002] SGMC 9
Publication Date19 September 2003

Judgment

GROUNDS OF DECISION

1. The two accused persons, Oh Ann Hock ("Oh") and Ng Kheng Cheng ("Ng") were jointly tried before me for an offence of promoting gaming in public at the void deck of block 800 Yishun Ring Road in the early hours of the morning of 17 October 2001. The charge against Oh in MAC 10059/2001 read as follows

"You … are charged that you on the 17th day of October 2001, at or about 12.40 am, at the void deck of Blk 800 Yishun Ring Road, Singapore, a public place, did promote the game of "Si Ki Phuay", a game of chance, using cash as stakes, to wit, by being a banker, in public, and you have thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 8(4) of the Common Gaming Houses Act, Chapter 49."

2. The charge against Ng in MAC 10058/2001 read as follows:

"You … are charged that you on the 17th day of October 2001, at or about 12.40 am, at the void deck of Blk 800 Yishun Ring Road, Singapore, a public place, did promote the game of "Si Ki Phuay", a game of chance, using cash as stakes, to wit, by being a croupier, in public, and you have thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 8(4) of the Common Gaming Houses Act, Chapter 49."

3. At the end of the trial, I convicted both accused persons on their respective charges. Both accused persons are serving sentence at present. Oh is appealing against his conviction whereas Ng is appealing against his conviction and sentence.


PROSECUTION’S CASE

Evidence of Sergeant Wong Soon Lee (PW1)

4. On 17 October 2001 at about 12.40 pm, Sergeant Wong Soon Lee ("Sgt Wong") together with a party of police officers led by Staff Sergeant Voon Chee Chuan ("Sgt Voon") proceeded to the void deck of block 800 Yishun Ring Road upon receipt of information pertaining to syndicated gambling activities going on there. Upon arrival of the police officers who were in plain clothing at the scene which was ascertained to be a public area, Sgt Voon deployed Sgt Wong to conduct further observations. Sgt Wong observed a group of 15 to 20 subjects gathering around a make-shift table gambling. During his observation which lasted for approximately 15 minutes, Sgt Wong stood beside the accused Ng who in turn was seated on a chair where the rest of the subjects were standing around the makeshift table.

5. Ng was observed by Sgt Wong who was standing beside him on the right, to be distributing playing cards to 3 other players. Each player was distributed 4 cards by Ng and each player would place 2 cards in front and 2 cards behind. After the cards were distributed to these 3 players by Ng who was ascertained by Sgt Wong to be the dealer, the rest of the crowd around the table would place bets on the 3 players. Thereafter, Ng would direct each player to open their cards and Ng would then decide the winner and loser. At that time, the other accused, Oh, was seen holding a stack of cash by Sgt Wong and was standing directly opposite across the table from where Ng and Sgt Wong were. Oh was seen settling the bets of those around the table who had placed the bets on the 3 players. Oh was seen handing over money to those who had placed bets on the winning players and also collecting the bets placed on the table for the losing players. According to Sgt Wong, Oh was acting as the banker.

6. During his observation, Sgt Wong opined that the gamblers at the table were playing a game called "Si Ki Phuay" (or "See Kee Puay") in Hokkien. Sgt Wong’ observation lasted for about 15 minutes and he observed that during this time, the group played more than 3 rounds of game and there was no change in the roles of Ng and Oh who acted as the dealer and banker respectively. According to Sgt Wong and from his experience in dealing with gambling cases, the time was sufficient for him to conclude that Ng and Oh were the promoters of the game. In the course of Sgt Wong’s observation, Sgt Voon also appeared and was seen observing Oh. According to Sgt Wong, this was the usual practice because their focus was on the promoters of the game.

7. At the conclusion of the observation, Sgt Wong and Sgt Voon identified themselves as police officers and the group started to disperse upon hearing this. Ng and Oh also started to flee but Ng was arrested by Sgt Wong and Oh was arrested by Sgt Voon. According to Sgt Wong, both the accused persons were struggling during their arrest and necessary force was used by the officers to effect the arrest. Both men were arrested because of their targeted role by the arresting officers as promoters of the gambling session. The following exhibits were seized from the gambling table: mahjong paper which was laid on the table with the numbers "28" followed by some Chinese characters written on it (Exhibit P5); cash amounting to $1,650 (Exhibit P10) which Oh was seen holding and throwing on the table when the arresting officers moved in to arrest; cash amounting to $109 (Exhibit P11) in a green coloured basket (Exhibit P6) placed directly in front of Ng; two decks of playing cards (Exhibit P7) also placed in front of Ng and cup, saucer, dice (Exhibit P8 collectively) and two red sticks (Exhibit P9) all placed near to the green basket.

8. It was also not in dispute that there was a funeral wake at the void-deck of the block at that time. In addition, a mahjong table was set up near to where the table of "Si Ki Phuay" was.


Evidence of Staff Sergeant Voon Chee Chuan (PW2)

9. Sgt Voon confirmed that he led his team of police officers to the void deck of block 800 Yishun Ring Road at the material time after receiving information that someone was going to promote gaming activities at a funeral wake. Upon arrival at the scene, he ordered Sgt Wong to make observations first. He himself then made his way to the said void deck where he first saw a mahjong table where there were people playing mahjong. However, his attention was directed to the other table where a...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT