A young Singaporean who used his bicycle to deliberately run into a neighbourhood has apologised for his actions after he was publicly shamed online.
The man, who is a cell group leader at City Harvest Church, uploaded a video of himself harassing a neighbourhood cat on his own Instagram story with the caption, “I love cats,” last week.
In the video, the man can be seen slowly using his bicycle to run into a cat that is sitting by a pillar while some others in the background can be heard goading him by saying, “let’s go, let’s go”. The cat appears to be distressed and scampers away while the man looks back with a smile at those who are filming him.
Facebook user Andrea Chan reposted the video on her social media page and publicly called out the man. Revealing that she personally knows the man, Ms Chan claimed that the man is a cell leader at the City Harvest megachurch.
In a Facebook post published on Sunday (16 Aug), Ms Chan claimed that this is not the first time the man could have been antagonistic to cats. She wrote:
“A church cell leader of city harvest, I left your cell group because of how the rest of the members condone to your actions (up your volume to hear what they’re saying in the video). If this is your definition of fun, you really have issues.
“I was a cell member, hearing you joked in the past about how you’ve abused another cat by throwing something at it (not sure what item was it) to get rid of it, or even scaring the cat when it wasn’t doing anything to you. If no other members are going to voice up about your wrongdoings, then this isn’t the cell group I wish to be in.”
Ms Chan, an animal lover, asked what kind of example the man is setting for the members in his cell group and said that she is publicly calling out such acts because it is unacceptable even if it was a joke. She highlighted the matter to the SPCA and NParks’ Animal & Veterinary Service (AVS).
The netizen also revealed that she confronted the man on Instagram. A screenshot she posted appeared to show the man claiming that he was only “playing” and that the cat “still live happily ever after” while Ms Chan chided him for not leaving the poor cat alone.
The man has since apologised for his actions. In a Facebook post, the man wrote: “Looking back at this entire situation today, I feel so sorry for what I have done and the hurt it has caused to many. I should not have tried to startle the cat with my bicycle as I could have easily hurt it in the process.”
Asserting that he never intended to hurt the cat and that he acted out of a sense of “misguided fun,” the man said that he has since realised that his actions were “inhumane” and that he is “deeply remorseful” for what he did.
The man also apologised to Ms Chan and said that he should have taken her advice more seriously when she first messaged him privately. He added that he now sees the worth and value of Ms Chan’s words.
Confirming that he is a cell leader, the man added: “This incident has made me realise that my action is unbecoming of me as a small group leader in my church and have (sic) caused stress and disappointment.”
He added that the incident has brought distress to his family and friends and humbly sought the public’s forgiveness, promising to reflect, learn from this episode and never repeat his actions in the future. Read his apology in full here: