Boy, 12, forgives man who slapped him in Hougang, but hasn't cycled alone since, says father

The family feels the man has gotten the punishment he deserves.

Ashley Tan | September 06, 2021, 05:03 PM

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A 67-year-old man who slapped and rained blows on a boy for cycling on a track along Hougang Avenue 8 in November 2020 was recently sentenced to five days' jail.

Chua Chek Yong had scolded the boy for cycling on what he believed to be a track where cycling was not permitted, even though it was.

The boy ended up with an abrasion and redness on his jaw, as well as a hematoma (bleeding outside the blood vessels) on the back of his head.

Chua has since been charged with voluntarily causing hurt to a person under the age of 14.

Since then, the boy and his family have been coping well, according to the boy's father, but the incident has left its marks.

Asks father to accompany him when cycling

The boy's father, surnamed Tan, told Mothership that his son will occasionally ask him on the progress of Chua's court case.

However, till now, his son still does not dare to cycle alone, and will ask his father to accompany him on such outings, as he has no other friends to cycle with.

His son has twice seen Chua around the neighbourhood, and the boy will run away and return to his father.

Chua has since paid restitution of S$120 to Tan for the boy's medical bills.

The father revealed that the family donated the money to a temple, to "clear [Chua's] sin".

He added that the family does not need the money to pay for the bills.

Chua has faced the consequences of his actions

Since news of Chua's sentencing passed, some social media users lamented that the penalty of five days jail was too light.

Nevertheless, Tan believes Chua has gotten his comeuppance and received his "deserved punishment".

The family has thus accepted whatever penalty was handed down to Chua according to Singapore's laws, the boy's father said.

The sentencing has afforded some closure for Tan and his son, with the former saying they can now move on from the incident.

Tan shares that he, as well as his son, have also forgiven Chua for his actions.

Now, the pair views the incident as having some learning value, with Tan highlighting to his son that violence is never the answer, and that every "wrong" action will have its consequences.

What happened

On Nov. 20, 2020, Chua saw Tan's son cycling on a track near Block 438 Hougang Avenue 8, and told him that he should not be cycling on the track.

Chua said if he caught him doing so again, he would deflate his bicycle's tires.

The boy then went to cycle on the pavement.

Some 15 minutes later, Chua saw the boy once again on the track and proceeded to start questioning the boy.

When the boy asked, "Who say I can't ride here?", Chua replied "I say. The government say."

He then asked the boy not to argue with him, and slapped the boy's face with the back of his hand.

Chua punched the boy around five to eight times. The boy did not retaliate.

A passer-by witnessed what happened, and offered help to the boy, who later called his father.

Both men confronted Chua, and then called the police.

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Top photo from Tan