Man Insults 2 Foreign Workers When They Were In His Residential Area, Says “It Was His Constitutional Right To Insult Them”


A 56-year-old man in Singapore convicted of two counts of harassment and an offence under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act, as he had also failed to wear a mask over his nose and mouth when the incident happened.


According to Straits Times, two foreign workers were taking shelter from the rain last July when a man berated them with xenophobic insults.

One of the workers recorded a video of Lee Poh Kian’s tirade, in which he said, among other things : “You enter my country is wrong… This government also illegal. We will get you out.”

In court, Deputy Public Prosecutor Sean Teh said that the 56-year-old had felt that he was “entitled” to use such words against two foreign workers Mr Ratnasingam Jatheesan and Mr Krishnan Karthikeyan because of the crime situation and overcrowding in Singapore caused by foreign nationals.

The court heard that both workers were taking measurements in relation to the construction of a linkway in Lorong 5 Toa Payoh on July 12 when it started raining.

They were seeking shelter at a nearby corridor when Lee scolded them.

Mr Ratnasingam then recorded a video of the incident. DPP Teh said that Lee’s tirade caused Mr Krishnan to “feel upset”, “stressed” and “insulted”.

The prosecutor added that Mr Ratnasingam felt “very sad and stressed” and “very down”.

DPP Teh said that Lee, who was unrepresented by a lawyer, had no valid defence to his charges.

The prosecutor told Judge Chay: “In his defence, he stated the following, most of which fail to hold an iota of logic”.

“Among other things, Lee had felt that it was his “constitutional right” to express himself to Mr Ratnasingam and Mr Krishnan, as they were “in his residential area”.


“At no point did the accused make any valid arguments regarding the Constitution to support his case. It is also glaringly obvious that there is no such ‘constitutional right’, DPP Teh added.

“He also stated that if foreign nationals such as (the pair) still come to Singapore despite it being overcrowded, it is ‘very illegal‘.

On the same note, the accused, whilst wholly unprompted, even implicitly referred to himself as xenophobic.

Lee’s mitigation and sentencing will take place on June 21, ST reported.

For each count of harassment, an offender can be jailed for up to six months and fined up to $5,000.

For an offence under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act, a first-time offender can be jailed for up to six months and fined up to $10,000.A repeat offender can be jailed for up to a year and fined up to $20,000.

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