Singer Gary Chaw bound over for row

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 23 January, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 23 January, 2010, 12:00am

Malaysian-Chinese singer Gary Chaw Ge vowed to be on his best behaviour after being bound over for accidentally pushing over Canto-pop star Justin Lo Ting-wei and running towards him with a road sign in a drunken row.

The 30-year-old, whose real name is Gary Chaw Pak-haw, was placed on a HK$1,000 good-behaviour bond for one year by Magistrate Anthony Yuen Wai-ming yesterday in Eastern Court. The prosecution had decided not to press charges against Chaw, who will not have a criminal record as a result of the incident.

'A 12-month bind-over for me, Chaw Ge, is not going to last just 12 months, but a whole lifetime,' he said. 'I need to do more positive things.'

He said he needed time to change a lot about his lifestyle, and that he likely would not drink any more when out with Lo, who he called his 'sworn brother'.

Chaw was speaking outside court after his hearing. The singer, in a white tailored shirt and blue jeans, was confronted by dozens of journalists and cameras as he left the building.

The court heard that the trouble started while Chaw and Lo were playing jazz at the Peel Fresco Music Lounge, Peel Street, SoHo, on September 22. They had arrived there after eating dinner with some friends to play and have drinks, prosecutor Kuk Suen-sau said.

While they were playing, a European man said they looked like clowns, and Chaw tried to speak with him. Lo and friends dragged Chaw out of the lounge, but Chaw tried to go back in. In his attempt to get free, Chaw accidentally pushed Lo, who fell, Kuk said.

Later, as the group rode in a taxi along Cotton Tree Drive, Chaw told the driver to stop, got out, and kicked in the air towards the rear of the taxi. He picked up a road sign from a work site and ran towards Lo and his friends. In the end, however, Chaw discarded the sign, Kuk said. No one was injured and no property was damaged.

Police investigated the incident and arrested Chaw, who said he regretted the trouble he had caused while under the influence of alcohol and that Lo did not assault him at any point in the evening. Lo agreed that Chaw be bound over, Kuk said.

A spokesman for Lo said he never blamed Chaw for the incident and that he had not pressed charges. Lo did not appear at yesterday's hearing because he was busy.

After the hearing, Chaw told young people not to follow his example and to remember that if they did something wrong, they had to pay a price. He urged them to take responsibility for their actions.

Chaw said he and Lo remained good friends. They had not seen each other since the incident, but that was only because both were busy, he said. Chaw, who is married and has a son, apologised to his company, family and friends.

The incident hit headlines after reporters filmed parts of it.