His boss needed him to act as an interpreter.
Some of their foreign workers had apparently been misbehaving after being caught drinking at a women's quarters and they wanted to find out what had happened.
But instead of talking some sense into them, he attacked one of them with a fruit knife, slashing him in the back.
Mustafa Khalil Atham, 34, (above) was a foreman of a cleaning company.
On July 23, last year, Mr Tee Wee Loon, 45, a manager from the company, was told that several of its male cleaners had been drinking at the firm's lodging for its female workers at Block 35, Telok Blangah Rise.
THE MEN HAD ALREADY LEFT THE PREMISES BY THE TIME HE REACHED THERE.
Later, while driving around the neighbourhood, Mr Tee spotted Mr Kannapathy Supramaniam, 30, and Mr Suriya Ganesan, 22, both cleaners, nearby.
He told the two Malaysian men to return to their lodging at Block 6, Telok Blangah Crescent.
Because he needed an interpreter to communicate with the cleaners, Mr Tee asked Mustafa to join him there.
They met at the second storey of Block 6 at around 2am that day.
Mustafa and Mr Tee scolded Mr Kannapathy and four other Malaysian workers, including Mr Suriya, for creating trouble.
This quickly escalated into a fight.
Mustafa had a fruit knife with a 7cm-long blade concealed in his knee guard and he whipped it out to slash Mr Kannapathy on his right upper back.
He then fled, throwing the weapon away near Telok Blangah Crescent Market.
Mr Kannapathy was taken to the Singapore General Hospital with a 10cm-long wound on his back. It was stitched up and he was given three days' medical leave.
Mustafa was jailed for eight months yesterday after pleading guilty to one count of voluntarily causing hurt with a weapon.
This article was first published on April 22, 2015.
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