SINGAPORE, April 25 — A 42-year-old driver was charged in court today over a multi-vehicle accident in Tampines on Monday that claimed two lives.

Muhammad Syafie Ismail faces four charges under the Road Traffic Act. They are:

• Dangerous driving causing death

• Dangerous driving causing hurt


• Dangerous driving, and

• Failing to stop after an accident

TODAY understands that Syafie was driving a black Saab that was caught on dashcam footage speeding and sideswiping a white car before a junction on Monday.


Syafie was arrested on Wednesday after his discharge from hospital.

The police said on Wednesday that his driving licence had also been suspended and investigations are ongoing for other possible offences.

On Thursday, the prosecution told the court that additional charges may be tendered, pending medical reports. They sought a four week adjournment for Syafie’s case.

Appearing in court, Syafie stated that he was planning to engage legal counsel, but had not decided whether he would apply for a lawyer from the Public Defender’s Office or if he would engage a private lawyer.

The Public Defender’s Office provides criminal defence aid to people facing non-capital charges who cannot afford a lawyer.

He is out on bail of S$30,000 (RM105,463.50) and will return to court for a pre-trial conference on June 7.

In addition to his travel documents which have already been surrendered to the police, Syafie was ordered not to interfere with or contact any witness or otherwise obstruct the course of justice as a condition of his bail.

He must also report to the investigation officer as and when required.

The prosecution also requested that Syafie be electronically tagged (e-tag), in light of the severity of his charges and concerns that he was a flight risk.

In response, Syafie said: “I don’t think it’s a necessary thing to put an e-tag because all my documents have already been seized by the police.

“I am already on bail. I am present today and I will be present also for all the court matters, but it’s up to the court to make the decision.”

In reply, the prosecution added that the man’s fourth charge of failing to stop after an accident suggested “poor conduct” and an element of flight risk.

The judge ordered Syafie to be electronically tagged.

If found guilty of dangerous driving causing death, Syafie could be jailed for up to eight years, with a minimum sentence of two years, and face disqualification from driving all classes of vehicles.

Those found guilty of dangerous driving causing hurt can be jailed for up to two years, or fined up to S$10,000, or both and disqualified from driving all classes of vehicles.

Anyone convicted of dangerous driving can be jailed for up to 12 months, face a fine of up to S$5,000, or both.

For failing to stop after an accident, Syafie could be jailed for up to three months, fined up to S$1,000, or receive both punishments.

What happened

At around 7am on Monday, an accident involving six vehicles occurred at the junction of Tampines Avenue 1 and Tampines Avenue 4.

The police said that they were alerted to the crash, which involved four cars, a van and a minibus, at about 7.05am.

The accident resulted in two deaths — that of 17-year-old Temasek Junior College student Afifah Munirah Muhammad Azril, and 57-year-old Norzihan Juwahib, who worked at pest control firm First Choice Pest Specialist.

Six others were taken to hospital. Three male car drivers between the ages of 42 and 48, including Syafie, were conveyed conscious to the hospital.

A 64-year-old male van driver, an 11-year-old male car passenger and 11-year-old minibus passenger were also conveyed conscious to the hospital, while a 39-year-old male van passenger and 42-year-old female car driver sought medical attention on their own.

Charge sheets stated that Syafie was travelling along Bedok Reservoir Road towards Tampines Avenue 4 at around 7.07am on Monday when he made an abrupt lane change from the second lane to the first lane of the two-lane road to overtake another car on the second lane.

He then allegedly filtered back acutely into the second lane, resulting in a side-swipe collision with the car, causing it to veer to the left and its left front and rear tires to graze the left kerb.

He was also charged with failing to stop after the accident with the said car along Bedok Reservoir Road.

Syafie then allegedly failed to conform to a red light signal while along Bedok Reservoir Road towards Tampines Avenue 4. This resulted in a collision with a car travelling along Tampines Avenue 1 towards Tampines Avenue 10.

His car also purportedly hit another car travelling along Tampines Avenue 1 towards Tampines Avenue 2 before “surging forward” to collide with a third car travelling along Tampines Avenue 1 towards Tampines Avenue 2.

Charge sheets stated that the impact of his collision with the first car caused it to spin and collide into a van, before overturning. This resulted in the van colliding into a minibus travelling along Tampines Avenue 1 towards Tampines Avenue 2.

Syafie’s alleged dangerous driving caused hurt to two drivers, Lee Yau Meng, 42, and Weng Haifeng, 42, van driver Chia Tong Chai, 64, 39-year-old Mohammad Azman Mohd Enjah and two 11-year-old boys.

TODAY is not naming the two 11-year-old boys identified in court documents to protect their identities.

Charge sheets also stated that Syafie’s alleged dangerous driving caused the deaths of Afifah and Norhizan, who were passengers in a car and van respectively.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said on Monday that its personnel had found a person lying on the road with one leg trapped under the wheel of a car upon arrival, and hydraulic rescue equipment was used to free the person’s leg.

A video posted on the Singapore Road Vigilante Facebook page, allegedly taken moments before the accident, shows a black car speeding through the morning traffic.

The dashboard camera footage depicted the car swerving in and out of a two-way lane to overtake a white car on the left lane without signalling.

The man who posted the video, Anthony Soon, who is a senior adviser at car repair and maintenance firm Success United, has filed a police report after receiving death threats against him and his family for posting the dashboard camera footage.

Soon said that online users had mistaken him for the driver of a white Mercedes-Benz, which appears to have been sideswiped by Syafie’s black Saab.

He told TODAY on Wednesday that he was not the driver of the Mercedes-Benz but had posted the footage on the Facebook page on behalf of the driver who did not have a social media account.

Other videos circulating on social media show the black Saab later beating a red light and crashing into other vehicles — one of which was Afifah’s father’s car.

Both Afifah and Norzihan were buried on Tuesday at the Pusara Aman Muslim cemetery.

More than 100 family and friends gathered to bid their final farewell to the Temasek Junior College student. Family members told TODAY that her father, Azril, was under observation with kidney and spine related injuries, and was conscious in the hospital. — TODAY