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Expat goes berserk over construction noise

Expat banker swears, threatens workers and flings zinc panel into construction pit. -TNP

Sun, Nov 04, 2012
The New Paper

The man was caught on tape throwing a zinc panel at the Wimborne Road construction site, off Mountbatten Road.

SINGAPORE - Annoyed with the noise coming from the two construction sites along the street where he lived, he went berserk.

It was the weekend, after all.

The Caucasian man, who is believed to be a banker, barged first into one construction site and then the other, hurling vulgarities and threatening workers.

He even threw a zinc panel into a pit.

The expatriate's tirade on Oct 20 was filmed by one of the workers and uploaded on citizen journalism website Stomp last Thursday.

It went viral.

Construction workers from both sites along Wimborne Road, off Mountbatten Road, claimed that it was not the first time the Caucasian man had "lost his cool".

He had allegedly thrown stones at workers from both sites before, made disparaging remarks about Indian and Chinese foreign workers and threatened them while holding golf clubs and iron rods, they claimed.

"From day one, my staff have encountered a lot of problems with this guy. He threw things at them, scolded them, imposed his own rules and regulations on what time they can start work," a spokesman for Unison Construction told The New Paper.

That Saturday when he trespassed into her worksite "was the last straw", she told TNP. Dangerous

"It was, after all, a worksite. He did not have a helmet or boots on. He was not only endangering himself but also my workers.

"What if he had slipped and fallen? Then he would have become our liability. What if we have a stop-work order put on us? We have a year to finish the house," she said.

Unison Construction workers are building a house at Wimborne Road, diagonally across from where the man lives.

The spokesman said they try to compromise by starting at 9am, the time he had laid down for them. But on that fateful Saturday, the workers had started work at 8.45am - 15 minutes earlier.

The 80-second video clip showed the expatriate storming into the site, hurling vulgarities, threatening workers and even throwing a zinc panel into a pit.

In the video, he is heard telling the workers that he will "go after" them and "burn" their houses down.

He also tells them that they "have no respect" and that if they disturb his family again, he will find the workers' families.

"I can find them very easily... I am a man of resources," he says in the video.

Shot on smartphone

The man was also filmed threatening the person who was shooting the video clip on his smartphone, saying that he would wait for him to come out of the construction site.

Unison Construction's spokesman said that the video was taken by one of the workers at the worksite. She told TNP that his aggressive tirades have affected her workers.

"All of them were very reluctant to be assigned to the Wimborne Road project," she claimed.

A group of Chinese workers from the other worksite under Boon Guan Constructions alleged that the Caucasian also barged into their site that same Saturday morning.

"He kicked open the wooden door (of our workplace), and started brandishing an iron rod he had picked up from our site. He shouted loudly to tell us to stop work," claimed a Chinese national, who declined to give his name.

Four residents along Wimborne Road told TNP that the expatriate has "a foul temper". Not wanting any trouble from him later, they agreed to be interviewed only if they were not identified.

One neighbour claimed to have seen him storming towards the worksite "a few times, shouting at the top of his voice".

When asked if the noise from the construction were annoying them, the neighbours said no, as they have become used to it.

The spokesman for Unison Constructions said a police report was filed last Thursday, the same day the clip was uploaded on Stomp.

Police confirmed the report and said they are currently investigating the matter. TNP waited at Wimborne Road on Monday night until the man returned, and approached him for his side of the story.

In a very calm and polite manner, he said he was sorry the TNP team had waited so long for him but declined to comment on the matter.

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