A Malaysian man who pushed his way through a police line outside Jalan Besar Stadium was yesterday sentenced to a week in jail for disorderly behaviour.
Mohamed Kamil Kamal Basha (right), 27, had spotted a group of fellow fans of Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) football club causing a scene at around 9pm on May 20.
Like Kamil, the crowd of about 30 had been denied entry to their team's match against the Singapore Lions XII that night because they were holding tickets meant for Singapore fans.
There were two lines of uniformed officers and troopers between Kamil and the group, who were shouting and chanting JDT slogans to show their displeasure.
Intending to join them, he had pushed through the first line and was about to reach the second when an officer held on to his sling bag and instructed him to back away.
Kamil was arrested after he persisted in moving forward and aggressively told the officer that he wanted to "help his fellow countrymen".
Four others who had been part of the rowdy group also each received one week's jail at an earlier hearing on May 30.
Passing sentence, District Judge Lim Tse Haw said a "clear message" had to be sent that instructions by law enforcement officers must be obeyed so that they can maintain law and order, especially in situations where there is a big crowd.
"Your actions in breaching the line (and behaving aggressively) were more aggravating than those of some who had shouted and chanted," the judge added.
Calling for Kamil to be jailed for at least a week, Deputy Public Prosecutor Nicholas Lai said the man's actions indicated a "high level" of disobedience.
He added: "His behaviour had the potential to encourage and embolden individuals in the same situation (of being denied entry due to having the wrong ticket) to do likewise, which could have easily escalated the seemingly small matter into a full-blown riot."
Kamil's lawyer said his client was remorseful, adding that the man has been here for more than three months because of the case, and has also lost his job as a public health assistant.
Kamil could have been jailed for up to one month or fined up to $1,000.
This article was published on Sept 3 in The Straits Times.
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