Man loses top of ear to keris-wielding slasher

SINGAPORE- A spat between two neighbours over the spraying of insecticide turned bloody, when one of them slashed the other with an Indonesian-style dagger, called a keris.

Yesterday, Mazatulasher Osman, 45, was jailed for four months for injuring sales executive Neo Sern Ping with a deadly weapon.

Mr Neo, 37, suffered cuts to his forehead, nose, ear, neck and right arm. Mazatulasher had pleaded guilty on Jan 5 to the attack in the corridor in front of their Housing Board flats in Tampines Street 81.

Then, a district court heard that at 7pm on June 19 last year, Mr Neo went over to ask his next-door neighbours to be careful about spraying insecticide as it could waft into his flat. His 10-year-old son was asthmatic and had been affected by it that morning.

Soon after, he smelled the chemical in his home. He saw Mazatulasher standing in the common corridor and went out to confront him.

A row ensued and the older man swung the keris, slashing Mr Neo's face and head several times. Mazatulasher's sister then pulled her brother into his flat and Mr Neo called the police.

He was treated as an outpatient at Changi General Hospital and given three days of medical leave. Investigations revealed that Mazatulasher had taken the keris - which had a 15cm blade - from his bedroom before going out to the corridor.

Defence counsel Vinit Chhabra said his client is semi-paralysed after a traffic accident seven years ago, and finds it difficult to move his left arm and leg.

The lawyer said he had taken the dagger along as a form of "self-defence" and had swung it instinctively when he was pushed in the chest by Mr Neo.

Mazatulasher could have been jailed for up to seven years, and caned or fined.

Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to for more stories.

This article by The Straits Times was published in MyPaper, a free, bilingual newspaper published by Singapore Press Holdings.