SINGAPORE — Singaporean actor-singer Aliff Aziz, popular across the Causeway for his Malay love songs, was on Tuesday (15 September) jailed for two weeks for stealing from an Indonesian celebrity at her hotel room in Singapore last year.
He was also fined $500 for behaving in a disorderly manner in public near Orchard Towers while drunk.
The 29-year-old had in August pleaded guilty to one charge each of theft in dwelling and disorderly behaviour. Theft in any building which is used as a human dwelling carries a mandatory jail term of up to seven years, along with a possible fine.
He also admitted to another count of theft, which was considered in sentencing as part of his plea bargain.
In meting out the sentences, Principal District Judge Victor Yeo noted that Aliff, 29, had pleaded guilty and shown remorse, cooperated with the police and paid full restitution to the theft victim, Raja Yunika Perdhana Putri.
A government psychiatrist had earlier found the culprit unsuitable for a Mandatory Treatment Order – a community sentencing option for offenders with mental conditions who must attend compulsory treatment sessions with psychiatrists for up to three years in lieu of jail.
Although Aliff was suffering from adjustment disorder around the time of the crimes, the psychiatrist reported that the mental illness had no bearing on the commission of the offences.
Between 2014 and 2019, Aliff sought treatment at various hospitals, including the Institute of Mental Health, his lawyer, Senior Counsel Murali Pillai, said in mitigation.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Pavithra Ramkumar had requested for a jail term of at least two weeks. She noted that Aliff was previously fined $2,000 in 2014 for stealing two mobile phones.
The judge allowed Aliff to speak with his family for five to 10 minutes after the court session before being brought into custody.
Stole money from Indonesian celebrity
At around midnight on 7 June last year, Aliff met Indonesian actress Raja Yunika at her room in Studio M Hotel. The pair discussed how she might help him further his singing career in Indonesia, the court heard.
When she went to the second level of her hotel room to rest, Aliff stole 1 million Indonesian rupiah (S$92) and $300 from her handbag on the first floor and left. He changed the foreign currency and spent the money on food and transport.
Raja Yunika found the money missing when she woke up at around 3am. She called Aliff, who denied the theft. She then made a police report.
Drunken behaviour near Orchard Towers
The singer-actor got into trouble with the law again when he was found drunk and behaving in a disorderly manner outside Orchard Towers at about 6.25am on 10 November last year.
Two policemen saw a commotion under a link bridge at about 5.30am. Aliff, who was intoxicated, was seen shouting and gesticulating wildly while surrounded by a crowd of people, some of whom were trying to calm him down.
The officers asked Aliff to calm down and he complied. They followed him as he walked off to keep an eye on him.
At about 6.25am, they spotted Aliff behaving in a rowdy manner again – he kicked the left front portion of a taxi, which was not damaged. This time, Aliff did not heed the officers’ instructions to calm down. He later ran into an acquaintance on the street and got into a scuffle with him.
Aliff was then arrested. A video of the incident uploaded online went viral.
Won singing competition at just 16
In 2007, at just 16, Aliff became the youngest winner of free-to-air Malay TV channel Suria's singing competition Anugerah. He later appeared in Mediacorp shows.
After serving his full-time national service, he pursued a successful singing and acting career in Malaysia.
But it was his rocky marriage to Malaysian singer-actress Bella Astillah, rumours of extra-marital affairs and his subsequent divorce that grabbed headlines recently.
His wife, with whom he has a three-year-old son, divorced him in May last year after telling a court, “My husband always cheats on me.”
But they later reconciled, and Bella gave birth to their daughter in Malaysia in July.
The punishment for behaving in a disorderly manner in public, for a first conviction, is a fine of up to $2,000 and/or a jail term of up to six months.
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