If you’ve been following the news over the past few days, you might be wondering if you’ve been reading repeated reports regarding blade or sword incidents.
No, no, you haven’t. Yup, they’re all different people who somehow all committed violent crimes using blades on the same day. And all with different types of blades.
With three incidents involving men with blades (and no, they weren’t filming different parts of a Singaporean adaptation of an Wuxia drama) that occurred two days ago (14 March), all three men appeared in court today (16 March).
The verdict? All of them will be remanded for further psychiatric observation before they return to court for their hearings.
And as odd of a coincidence as it seems, the police have mentioned that there is no evidence as of now that any of the crimes are related to each other in any way.
Buangkok Square Incident
If you were scrolling through Facebook yesterday, you would have probably seen the viral videos of a man swinging his swords at a number of cars as well as various members of the public near Buangkok Square mall.
One of the people in the vicinity, Mr Kumarapeli Arachchige Amila Chinthana, got slashed thrice on his left arm and shoulder as a result of the man’s behaviour. Another man also sustained abrasions on his left knee, but there are currently no charges against the perpetrator for that injury.
The perpetrator, Fadhil Yusop, a 37-year-old Singaporean, was charged today (16 March) with one count of voluntarily causing hurt with a samurai sword. He appeared in court via video link, and his left arm was in a sling when he appeared on camera.
Previous statements by the police revealed that Fadhil had taken medication before leaving his house with the sword on Monday. The type of medication he took is still unknown, but the police did manage to seize two packets of yellow pills after raiding his house afterwards.
He then got into a minor argument with other residents at the lift lobby of the Housing Development Board (HDB) block that he stayed at.
Afterwards, he started jaywalking and “is said to have used his weapon to hit five passing cars”.
He then attacked Mr Chinthana at a traffic junction near the entrance of Buangkok Square mall.
Six members of the public, including Mr Chinthana, were able to pin Fadhil down until the police reached the scene.
Apparently, Fadhil had also shouted “Allahu Akbar”, which means “God is the greatest” in Arabic while carrying out the attacks. However, police investigations thus far have not found any evidence that links his behaviour to terrorism.
Fadhil is also a repeat offender, having been investigated by the Internal Security Department (ISD) once in 2016 and another time in 2020.
In 2016, he shared photos of militant terrorist groups online.
In January of 2020, he attacked an imam (a Muslim mosque leader) with a knife at the Al-Mawaddah mosque in Sengkang.
He was issued a warning for his first offence and served nine months and two weeks in jail for his second.
According to joint investigations by the ISD and the police, none of his crimes thus far have proven that he was radicalised.
However, he was also found to have consumed a large dose of medication, dextromethorphan, which impacted his behaviour during the incident in 2020.
Today (16 March), the court heard that Fadhil will be remanded for three weeks at Changi Prison Complex’s medical centre for psychiatric observation. His case will be heard again on 6 April.
For voluntarily causing hurt, he can face up to seven years in jail, a fine and caning, or any combination of the three punishments.
Across the island in Queenstown, another similar case also led to a court hearing today (16 March).
Yup, clearly most of the police officers all across the island had a busy day on Monday.
Mohd S. Muhibullah Said Abdullah, a 33-year-old Singaporean, was charged with two charges of voluntarily causing hurt with a dangerous weapon.
He had carried out his attacks using a razor blade, and the attacks occurred at Block 59 Strathmore Avenue in Queenstown.
Muhibullah is accused of slashing two people, Mr John Ryan Buguistan Jimenez and Ms Pauline Goh Quek Choo, with the same razor blade. He slashed Mr Jimenez on the left side of his neck and Ms Goh on her left arm.
Mr Jimenez, 38, ended up with lacerations and was conscious when he was taken to the hospital. On the other hand, Ms Goh, 49, sustained minor injuries and declined to go to the hospital for further medical assistance.
The police confirmed that they were alerted to the situation at approximately 6pm through multiple phone calls from members of the public.
Muhibullah said that he was hearing voices in his head and that they had told him to attack people. He then acted on those thoughts, resulting in the injuries of Mr Jimenez and Ms Goh.
The police later seized the razor blade as a case exhibit. Investigations are currently ongoing.
According to the court hearing today (16 March), Muhibullah will be remanded at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) for two weeks for psychiatric observation.
Thereafter, he will return to court on 30 March.
The police also revealed that he had “past records” with IMH, and also took controlled drugs in the past.
Similar to Fadhil, for each charge of voluntarily causing hurt with a dangerous weapon, Muhibullah faces a jail term of up to seven years, a fine and caning, or any combination of the three punishments.
Bukit Batok Incident
Uh, west side best side? Maybe not in this case.
Leonard Goh Yew Cheng, a 27-year-old Singaporean, was also charged in court today (16 March) for throwing a knife at a police officer.
Hello, this one not Fruit Ninja leh.
Goh is currently facing one charge of voluntarily causing hurt to deter a public servant from his duty, as well as two counts of possessing offensive weapons.
Goh had apparently thrown a watermelon knife at 42-year-old Station Inspector Cheong Kah Guan’s face on Monday (14 March). The knife handle hit the officer’s face and resulted in bruising on Station Inspector Cheong’s face.
On top of that, he is also facing charges for possessing the knife and five other long knives, which the police found in his HDB flat at Bukit Batok. Photos of the knives showed that their handles were all wrapped in black tape.
The police mentioned in a statement that they were alerted to a call for assistance at around 9.10 pm on Monday (14 March).
Apparently, Goh was shouting and seemed to be looking for someone at Bukit Batok West Avenue 8, all while having a knife in tow.
Upon reaching the scene, police officers went forth to confront Goh. According to the police, Goh then allegedly took out a knife from under his shirt and threw it at the Station Inspector, causing the Inspector’s bruise.
Although it is still unclear as to why Goh carried out those actions, the police have confirmed that preliminary investigations do not suggest that the intent of his actions were terrorism.
(And I’m pretty sure it’s not that he wanted to play Fruit Ninja in real life either.)
Today (16 March), the court heard that Goh will be remanded at the Institute of Mental Health for two weeks for further psychiatric observation.
Afterwards, he is set to return to court on 30 March, the same day as Muhibullah.
However, unlike Fadhil and Muhibullah, Goh is facing much more severe punishments if convicted. This is largely due to the fact that he is also facing charges for possessing offensive weapons and for hurting a policeman.
For voluntarily causing hurt to a public servant, Goh is facing a jail term of up to seven years, a fine or caning.
On the other hand, if he is convicted of possessing offensive weapons, he is facing up to three years’ imprisonment as well as a minimum of six strokes of the cane per charge.
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Featured Image: Singapore Police Force + Facebook (ROADS.sg) + Google Maps
Quiet Firing is a more serious issue than Quiet Quitting, because it could have all boiled down to one issue. Here’s the issue: