Minister for Law, Mr K Shanmuggam (Shanmuggam) has said on Facebook (FB) that he had “laughed off” the egg debacle. For those who are unaware, there has been a recent gaff made online by a Mr Edmund Zhong to throw an egg at Shanmuggam. It is important to note that no egg has hitherto been thrown and Zhong has publicly clarified that the whole thing was a throwaway quip made online with no attempts of actual follow through. The Singapore Police Force (SPF) has however seemingly reacted as if there has been a serious threat to throw acid or the like at someone.
So, why is the SPF taking this whole thing so literally if in his own words Shamnuggam isn’t even concerned?
Secondly, if Shangmuggam has laughed the whole thing off, why is he suggesting in the same vein that he understands the concerns of the police? If no crime has been committed, what concern is there to investigate? If the SPF are spending man hours and resources to investigate a non crime, isn’t this a waste of public funds? The SPF are after all funded by taxes and I am sure that most Singaporeans have no wish for their taxes to be spent in such a spurious manner.
Of late, the SPF has gone through great lengths to demonstrate its prowess. The government has also been keen to remind us of the constant threat of terrorism in Singapore. If this is indeed the case, why is the SPF wasting time on a throwaway comment made online?
There has to be inherent respect in the uniform and the authority of the SPF has to be respected. To be seemingly unable to differentiate between what constitutes a real threat and what is part of a harmless online joke does not lend the SPF credibility or the respect that the force should by right command. More damaging, it can send out the message to the public that the police force may not be able to prioritise danger since it seems to take everything so literally. Do we potentially run the risk of a real terrorist threat being ignored while investigating humpty dumpty?
To publicly declare that it is taking the egg incident seriously undermines (in my opinion), the credibility of the police. Surely the police force must be able to exercise critical thinking and be able to tell the difference between real threats and non threats?