It was reported in mainstream media yesterday ('Woman, 35, arrested after stripping nude at Pioneer MRT station', 7 Jun) that a 35-year-old Caucasian woman was arrested on Wednesday (6 Jun) night at Pioneer MRT station, after she stripped herself naked at the station platform.
The police said it received a call for assistance at around 10.30pm on Wednesday.
Subsequently, according to the media report, the foreigner was arrested "under the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) Act".
Photos of the naked foreigner were already circulating on social media after the incident. In one photo, she appeared to be wrapping her arms around her male companion at the platform.
The male companion, also Caucasian, was seen to be together with her.
Mental Health (Care and Treatment) Act
According to Section 7 of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) Act, a police officer can apprehend any person who is reported to be "mentally disordered" and is believed to be "dangerous to himself or other persons". The officer will then take the person to see a medical practitioner as soon as possible.
Apprehension of mentally disordered person
7. It shall be the duty of every police officer to apprehend any person who is reported to be mentally disordered and is believed to be dangerous to himself or other persons by reason of mental disorder and take the person together with a report of the facts of the case without delay to —
(a) any medical practitioner for an examination and the medical practitioner may thereafter act in accordance with section 9; or
(b) any designated medical practitioner at a psychiatric institution and the designated medical practitioner may thereafter act in accordance with section 10.
Section 9 talks about the medical practitioner may send the said person to a psychiatric institution for treatment, while Section 10 deals with general provisions for the admission and detention for treatment of the said person.
In any case, the foreign woman did not seem to be "dangerous" to others as the photo showed that she was, in fact, showing her affection to her male companion in a public display.
Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order and Nuisance) Act
Meanwhile, it has also been reported that Singaporean taxi driver, Chua Hock Hin, was arrested and fined $2,600 for being naked in his own flat.
Under Section 27A of the Public Order and Nuisance Act, a person cannot be naked even in his own home, if he is also being exposed to public view.
The penalty of this offence is a fine not exceeding $2,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 months or both. Furthermore, if you are committing this offence, a police officer has the right to enter your home without your authorisation and use force, if necessary, to arrest you.
Mr Chua though naked in his own flat, was in clear view of his neighbors who called the Police. For some reasons, ST reported that he was fined more than $2,000 - $2,600.
Appearing nude in public or private place
27A.—(1) Any person who appears nude —
(a) in a public place; or
(b) in a private place and is exposed to public view,
shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $2,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 months or to both.
So, the question remains why the police officers did not arrest the Caucasian woman on the spot under the Public Order and Nuisance Act, which carries certain penalties.
Or perhaps the question can also be reversed, why didn't the Police arrest taxi driver Chua Hock Hin under the Mental Health Act?