SINGAPORE - The 64-year-old motorist accused of breaching a security barrier at Woodlands Checkpoint was remanded for psychiatric assessment yesterday.
Tan Chu Seng, a Malaysian, was charged with committing a rash act and vandalism last week for driving his Singapore-registered car recklessly, causing injury to police officer Safie Mahrom.
The Singapore permanent resident is said to have damaged the cat-claw security barrier when he drove onto it. This took place after he had apparently driven through the checkpoint around 4pm on March 8 after being stopped for a boot check.
The security barrier failed to work - the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority said this had never happened before.
Tan was represented by Mr Jeffrey Ong, who has been hired by his family. Mr Ong did not object to the prosecution's application to remand Tan at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH). He will return to court on March 31.
If convicted of committing a rash act, Tan could be jailed for up to one year and/or fined up to $5,000. For vandalism, the maximum penalty is a $2,000 fine or three years' jail.
The case against Tan comes after prosecutors decided last week to withdraw charges against Malaysian school teacher Nurul Rohana Ishak "on account of her mental illness". She was instead issued with a conditional warning by the police not to commit similar offences in the future.
Ms Nurul was arrested three days after she slipped past immigration at Woodlands Checkpoint on Jan 17 and faced charges of criminal trespass, failing to present her passport for examination and failing to stop her car.
A psychiatric assessment at IMH on Feb 21 found her to be suffering from schizophrenia and unfit to make a plea.
This article by The Straits Times was published in MyPaper, a free, bilingual newspaper published by Singapore Press Holdings.