Arunachalam Manikandan, a construction worker, was unhappy with his dormitory mate, Ganesan Arunprakash who had told him to clean up his own vomit at the premises, The Straits Times reported today.
The two men quarrelled around on March 21 when Arunachalam refused to do so.
Their supervisor, who heard the commotion, intervened and told Arunachalam to clean up his vomit.
He started fuming while sitting on his bed as he felt that Ganesan had bossed him around in front of others in the room.
The court heard that the two men had clashed with each other in the past.
An angry and drunk Anunachalam retrieved a chopper with a 19.5cm-long blade to attack 21-year old Ganesan, who was lying on his own bed.
"At that time, the lights in the room were turned off," Deputy Public Prosecutor Jason Nim said.
"Without warning, the accused aimed for the victim's neck and began slashing and chopping him continuously with the chopper."
Ganesan's cries woke up their roommates, who disarmed Arunachalam.
Ganesan was taken to the National University Hospital with wounds on his neck and chest.
Nim said that one in particular was near his windpipe and he could have died without surgical intervention.
Ganesan was discharged the next day and was given hospitalisation leave until April 7.
Lawyer Sujatha Selvakumar, who was assigned to represent Arunachalam under the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme, urged District Judge Hamidah Ibrahim to sentence her client to a maximum of 2 years 6 months jail.
She said that a now-remorseful Arunachalam had "reacted in youthful folly".
For causing grievous hurt with the chopper, he could have been jailed for up to 15 years and fined or caned.
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