Public Prosecutor v Chen Zhi Qiang Allan

JudgeYap Siew Yong
Judgment Date19 June 1996
Neutral Citation[1996] SGDC 1
CourtDistrict Court (Singapore)
Published date19 May 2009
Plaintiff CounselDeputy Public Prosecutor, Malcolm Tan
Defendant CounselDefence Counsel, Navinderjet Singh
Citation[1996] SGDC 1

19 June 1996

District Judge Yap Siew Yong

The accused pleaded guilty to the following charge:

DAC 20247195

(Exhibit "PIA")

"You, Chen Zhi Qiang Allan, male 17 years NRIC NO. 7806960-J are charged that you on or about the 23rd day of Sept 95 or about 7.20 pm, in front of Orchard Point,Orchard Road, Singapore, together with Koh Bin Hing Andy, Yap Winson, Ng Wan Seng, Neo Tuan Tig Donald, Hoe Meng Hock Thomas, Lim Teck Li, Tan Woon Heng, together with about 20 other unknown male subjects were members of an unlawful assembly, whose common object was to assault a group of persons, and you have thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 143 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224."

The accused admitted without qualification the Statement of Facts marked "A". The complainant in this case was PC Lim Kian Heng attached to the Tanglin Police Division Headquarters. The victims were five boys between the ages of fifteen to seventeen.

On 23rd September 1995 at about 7.20 pm, the complainant together with a party of police officers, whilst on operation in front of Orchard Point, spotted 2 groups comprising about 40 subjects altogether. A gang slogan, 'Yo Ah Yo Sio Gi Ho' was being chanted and shortly after, a fight started. The complainant and the party of police officers moved in and arrested 20 subjects. 2 members from the accused's party, Koh Bin Hing and Yap Wilson were also found in possession of an aluminium rod each. They were arrested for rioting and brought back to Tanglin Police Station.

Investigations revealed that the gang members of the accused, namely, Koh Bin Hing and Yap Wilson were assaulted by members of the rival 'Sio Kun Tong' secret society of the '18' group sometime ago and they wanted to take revenge against the said rival gang. They subsequently reported the matter to their Headman and it was decided that they stage a retaliation attack against the said rival gang.

On Saturday, 23rd September 1995, the accused together with Koh Bin Hig Andy, Yap Winson, Ng Wan Seng, Neo Tuan Ting Donald, Hoe Meng Hock Thomas, Lim Teck Li, Tan Woon Heng and about 20 other unknown members and affiliated gang members of the 'Sio Gi Ho' secret society of the '18' group net at CANTO disco at Marina South for a tea-dance. After the tea-dance at about 6 pm, they proceeded to Dhoby Ghaut MRT station.

On arrival at the MRT station, Koh Bon Hmg Andy and Yap Winson armed themselves with an aluminium rod each. From here they proceeded in the direction of Orchard Plaza to look for the rival members of the 'Sio Kun Tong' secret society of the '18' group who would be around the vicinity.

When the accused's gang members arrived at Orchard Point, they started to shout their gang slogan ('Yo Ah Yo Sio Gi Ho') to attract the attention of the rival gang. The rival gang who were around the vicinity also shouted their gang slogan ('Aw Ah Aw Sar Lak Kow'). The accused's party then attacked the members of the said rival secret society, 'Sio Kun Tong' of the '18' group. The victims sustained minor bruises.

The accused was subsequently arrested and charged accordingly.

In determining the appropriate sentence to be imposed, I took into consideration the penalty prescribed for the offence under Section 143 which is a term of imprisonment up to 6 months, or fine, or both. I also considered the age of the accused as well as the fact that he was involved in secret societies. This factor of young persons' involvement in secret societies and engaging in gang fights is a matter of much social concern nowadays as the percentage of juveniles arrested for rioting had been increasing since 1991. Courts must ensure that public order and discipline be maintained and that juveniles be dealt with strictly if they commit serious offences.

The usual punishment meted out to adult offenders under section 143 of the Penal Code is four weeks' imprisonment. In this case, however, as the accused was a first offender and was only seventeen when he committed the said offence, I decided that a sentence of imprisonment would be inappropriate especially when he was not armed with the aluminium rod.

The accused was assessed to be suitable for reformative training but his Counsel and...

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