Police investigations over Facebook comments about throwing an egg at Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam has left netizens divided as to whether such investigations are overkill or appropriate.
On Monday (25 Mar), the Singapore Police Force (SPF) confirmed that it is investigating not one but two netizens for comments they made on social media about throwing an egg at Mr Shanmugam. Both netizens are men, aged 20 and 47.
The younger man had commented in a post on Channel NewsAsia’s Facebook page that he wanted to throw an egg at the Minister, while the 47-year-old netizen responded with information on the Minister’s Meet-the-People session.
Last week, Facebook user Edmung Zhong revealed that he made the comment about wanting to throw an egg at the Minister as he shared that the police paid a visit to his home over the “harmless” remark.
Edmund was not home at the time and was requested to visit an investigating officer at the Ang Mo Kio Division HQ. Edmund recalled in a Facebook post that he “felt a mix of emotions as I didn’t expect a harmless but straightforward comment can gain so much reaction.”
The SPF has since revealed that both men are assisting the police in their investigations.
The men are being investigated for the offence of communicating an electronic record to incite violence under Section 267C of the Penal Code. If convicted, they could face a fine and/or a maximum jail term of five years.
The police told the Straits Times that they “take such threats seriously, and will carry out investigations accordingly.”
Netizens responding to the police investigation have mixed reactions. While some blasted the action as “overkill”, others felt that the comments against the Minister were “disrespectful” and deserve to be investigated.
Asserting that “it’s not fair” for the Minister “to take such stress”, several netizens commended the SPF for investigating the matter swiftly:
Others, however, felt that it is ridiculous for the authorities to take a “joke” so seriously and opined that the SPF’s response time may not have been so fast if they had lodged a report about someone who commented about throwing an egg at an ordinary citizen: