The 20-year-old local netizen who had made a comment expressing, in jest, his wish to throw an egg at the Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam did not expect that “a harmless but straightforward comment can gain so much reaction”.
Edmund Zhong had shared, in a Facebook group called “Complaint Singapore”, a picture of a notice he had allegedly received from “2 officers from Ang Mo Kio Division HQ” at his home, which had requested him to look for an Investigating Officer at the Police Force’s Ang Mo Kio division headquarters.
Singapore Police Force told ST that “The police take such threats seriously, and will carry out investigations accordingly.”
Mr Zhong and another commenter, who had allegedly encouraged him to carry out the act, are being investigated for the offence of “communicating an electronic record to incite violence” under Section 267C of the Penal Code.
Persons found guilty of committing said offence may face up to five years’ imprisonment or fined, or both.
Mr Zhong acknowledged that “the police simply had a job to do, even if they think it’s a waste of time”.
Socio-political Facebook page The Alternative View, however, posed the following questions in light of the incident:
“We thought the Singapore Police is facing a resource crunch and the real threats are out there from terrorist groups that may attack S’pore?
“Why is there a need to investigate such a trivial matter?
“Do PAP Ministers like Shanmugam take the SPF as their own personal security arm which they can use to intimidate citizens according to their whims?”
A handful of netizens criticised the police officers’ move, suggesting that this is a form of abuse of power:
A couple of netizens, however, criticised the backlash against the police officers and the ridicule faced by Mr Shanmugam following the police’s response to Mr Zhong’s comment, stating that such threats of assault are unacceptable, particularly when posed against a minister like Mr Shanmugam:
One commenter in particular opined that the police officers who handed Mr Zhong the letter should not be blamed, given that they were merely carrying out their duties to investigate relevant incidents:
Several netizens also took the opportunity to ‘crack’ some jokes regarding the police visit prompted by Mr Zhong’s comment:
Mr Zhong’s comment was made on a CNA Facebook post in relation to 17-year-old William Connolly’s act of cracking an egg on 69-year-old Australian senator Fraser Anning at an event in Melbourne on 16 Mar.
Mr Connolly’s act was a response to Mr Anning’s reportedly Islamophobic comments on the terrorist attacks that took the lives of 50 people in the Al Noor and Linwood Mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand on the afternoon of 15 Mar.