A construction worker from India who was involved in the fracas at a Kaki Bukit dormitory last month was sentenced to two weeks in jail.
Indian national Dharmaraj Ramesh, 25, yesterday pleaded guilty to an amended charge of using criminal force on Bangladeshi Ahsan Habib Md Fazlan Rahman, 26, at Homestay Residences.
Of the 17 men charged in connection with the fight, Ramesh is the first to plead guilty.
He admitted to throwing an empty beer can in the Bangladeshi worker's direction on March 5 after he became irritated by noise being made by a group of Bangladeshis who were watching a cricket match that night. The ensuing confrontation between the two men later resulted in a large-scale fight at a nearby carpark.
Ramesh's sentence was backdated to his remand on March 28, which made him a free man yesterday.
District Judge Lee Poh Choo said that Ramesh had acted without thinking and had thus caused the resulting fight.
She said that such a "thoughtless act" cannot be tolerated, and that a strong signal needed to be sent that foreign workers here must live together and be tolerant of one another even if they come from different countries.
"It's inevitable that... foreign workers have to live together in dorms in housing provided by employers," she said.
"They must live together harmoniously and not behave in a thuggish and unruly manner."
Another accused worker was earlier given a discharge amounting to an acquittal, and 15 are still to be dealt with.
This article was published on April 16 in The Straits Times.
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