"Sat, Mar 06, 2010 The Straits Times - Driver assaulted after minor crash
MOMENTS after a minor collision along Braddell Road, Mr Chua Cheng Hai, 45-year old, was allegedly attacked by the other driver, who is said to have hit him so hard with a wooden pole that it fractured his wrist.
The other driver, an IT Manager by the name of Tan Eng Heong, 47-year old, only stopped attacking Mr. Chua after his teenage daughter, who was inside his car, screamed when it moved forward as he forgot or did not engaged the handbrake of his car fully!"
This is a very dramatic event - for Mr. Chua and Mr. Tan, and more so, I believed, Mr. Tan's teenage daughter. I am sure life will NOT be the same for the three people involved. One, hopefully, and if he did commit that raging act, is full of remorse and finding the courage to admit it. Also, he must find the courage to face the legal consequence of his blood-in-the-head action which is a jail term of up to 10-year and caned, or fined; if convicted.
Lessons for me are:
1. our actions are often ruled by rationality and emotion. I can empathized with Mr. Tan as sometime it is without any valid or comprehensible reason for anyone to act in a violent and unthinking manner. I believed this is what has happened unless in the process of the trial, the prosecution lawyers can show that he is a naturally violent person;
2. it is considered a fortunate thing that Mr. Chua only has his wrist broken as I have read news reports of road-rage offenders killing or caused irreversible brain damages to their victims in the spurt of the maddening raging moments. The unfortunate thing is that Mr. Chua decided to suit and Mr. Tan is now in a terrible position. I wondered if they have tried mediation outside the court or if the case is of a nature that a legal suit must be filed as a police report was made and a human being injured;
3. I don't condone road-raged offenders. At the same time, it is sad to see a 47-year old man lost a lot in this incident that did not result in serious injury or death. I can imagine how the teenage daughter will feel (she will be scarred and hopefully she had some professional help to erase or minimize the trauma she must have gone through on that fateful day of the accident). How the wife will feel. And how the family will be impacted.
Rush of the blood. A moment of madness. Could it had been avoided? Will this man be given a 2nd chance? If it is a fine instead of a jail term and caned, will some public labelled it as 'the court favouring the 'elite' in Singapore' again?
Hopefully there are enough mitigating factors to get Mr. Tan off the hook here. Hopefully he is a good man until that moment. Of course, he will get punished by the laws if convicted. Just wonder if it need to be that destructive jail and caning sentence?
Am I going soft? ...