Firefighter jailed for assaulting man in road rage

Hirahman Ramli, 29, who pleaded guilty, was jailed for two weeks. The Singapore Civil Defence Force said it will assess the case to determine his suitability to continue in his role as a public officer.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

A firefighter who assaulted a motorist in a road rage case was jailed for two weeks yesterday.

Hirahman Ramli, 29, who pleaded guilty, headbutted Mr Yam Kian Wing in the face and punched him in the head outside a petrol kiosk in Bukit Panjang Ring Road.

Investigations showed that at 5.30pm on Aug 20 last year, Hirahman sounded his horn at the 31- year-old for allegedly cutting into his lane at the cross junction of Bukit Panjang Road and Bukit Panjang Ring Road.

Mr Yam gestured at Hirahman, who gestured back.

Subsequently, the two drivers stopped at the SPC petrol station and started shouting at each other.

Hirahman noticed that there was a CCTV camera at the station and suggested to Mr Yam that they walk out towards the pavement where he headbutted him and punched him once.

The court heard that Mr Yam fought back to protect himself but Hirahman continued to punch him in the head.

Hirahman left before the police arrived. Mr Yam was taken to hospital with injuries, including a broken finger.

Hirahman's lawyer Zaminder Singh Gill agreed that road rage is against public policy but said there have been cases where the courts have meted out high fines to act as a deterrent.

He added that his client had served the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) for 61/2 years and was "truly remorseful".

The counsel, who sought a high fine, stated in his written mitigation plea: "The entire incident is clearly unfortunate and a disgraceful act by the accused. The accused has vowed never to get entangled with the law again.''

District Judge Shawn Ho said there is one road rage case every four days in Singapore, adding that each case is "one too many". There were 53 road rage cases for the first nine months of last year, compared to 71 in the same period in 2013.

In response to a query by The Straits Times, a spokesman for SCDF said: "SCDF takes a serious view of any misdemeanour or commission of offence by its personnel.

"SCDF does not condone such conduct by its personnel and will assess the case to determine Hirahman's suitability to continue in his role as a public officer."

Hirahman could have been jailed for up to two years and/or fined up to $5,000.

This article was first published on July 8, 2015.
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