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Man arrested for punching bus driver who asked him to wear a mask after boarding

A man was arrested on Sunday night after he assaulted an SBS Transit bus driver who told him to wear a mask while on the bus.

National Transport Workers’ Union (NTWU) executive secretary Melvin Yong said in a Facebook post on Monday evening that the man had boarded the bus at a stop along Sims Avenue near Geylang Serai without wearing a mask.

The bus driver of service 154, who only wants to be known as Mr Adip, informed the man he had to wear his mask for the safety of the other passengers. However, the man refused to do so until Mr Adip reported the incident to the operations centre.

The man wore a face mask then and Mr Adip proceeded with the journey.

Upon arriving at the bus interchange, the man punched Mr Adip in the face, causing him to suffer multiple facial injuries, including a suspected fractured nose.

Two other passengers who were on board helped to restrain the man until the police arrived.

In a Facebook post on Monday evening, SBS Transit said Mr Adip sought medical treatment at Changi General Hospital and is now resting at home.

SBS Transit said it will continue to assist him including helping him to take legal action.

“We are angered by such acts of violence against our bus captains, which cannot be condoned and must be stopped,” it said.

“We definitely do not take this lightly and will pursue all avenues to ensure that justice is served. This includes fully supporting any of our staff who wishes to file for civil action including undertaking the full legal bill.”

Mr Yong, who visited the bus captain on Monday afternoon with other union leaders, said in his post that NTWU is working closely with the company to take care of Mr Adip’s medical expenses and medical leave while he focuses on his recovery.

“NTWU strongly condemns any acts of violence and crime against our public transport workers,” he wrote. “Such acts cannot be tolerated and the Union will work closely with the Police to ensure that the assailants face the full force of the law.”

The Straits Times has contacted the police for more information.

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