SINGAPORE — When police officers woke him up from his drunken slumber near an MRT station and asked for his identity card, Nicholas Low Ooi Leng thought he was in trouble and offered them RM121 (S$39.80).
On Friday (Nov 20), the Malaysian was sentenced to four weeks in jail for offering a bribe to a police officer.
The 47-year-old private-hire driver was not charged with any other offences.
Court documents showed that Low, a Singapore permanent resident, had been celebrating his friend’s birthday at Avry Club downtown on April 8, 2018.
He had ordered two bottles of wine and was offered a few glasses of whiskey from the floor manager.
“At or about 3 am, Nicholas was heavily intoxicated because of the amount he had drunk and because he had also mixed wine with whiskey,” his lawyers Gino Hardial Singh and Kwoh Ji Wei wrote in their submissions.
His next memory was of Avry closing, at about 6am, which was when he stumbled over to one of the entrances to Promenade MRT Station.
Low fell asleep while waiting for the first train, which was due to arrive at around 6.30am.
Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Charis Low said that at about 6.50am, four police officers conducting foot patrol woke Low up to ask if he was well.
He responded by raising his thumb.
“(Low) was found to be conscious and aware of his surroundings despite smelling of alcohol,” she added. One of the police officers, Special Constable Shakir Saifuddin, then asked Low for his identity card.
That was when Low, believing he had committed an offence of public nuisance, held out RM121 to the officer.This was “an attempt to avoid any enforcement action being initiated or taken against him by Shakir and induce Shakir to exercise leniency towards him”, DPP Low said.
The officer rejected the cash and instructed Low to keep his money.
Low’s lawyers said he was in a “disoriented and intoxicated state” at that point of time. Even at 3.19pm that day, his blood alcohol concentration was 99mg/100ml, above the legal limit of 80mg/100ml, a medical report showed.
For trying to bribe a police officer, Low could have been jailed up to five years, or fined up to S$100,000, or both.
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