The National Serviceman (NSman), who was recently investigated over a Facebook comment in which he expressed a wish to throw an egg at Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam, has said that he is “deeply concerned about K Shanmugam’s harsh stance towards medical cannabis”.
On Monday (25 Mar), the Singapore Police Force (SPF) confirmed that it is investigating 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 Edmund 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.
Mr Zhong was not home at the time and was requested to visit an investigating officer at the Ang Mo Kio Division HQ. Mr Zhong 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.”
In a subsequent statement on his Facebook page, Mr Shanmugam revealed that he “laughed off” the Facebook comments, when he was informed about them. He added that despite his personal feelings over the matter, he understands the SPF’s concerns and why they wanted to interview Mr Zhong.
The Minister proceeded to comment: “I am much more concerned about his public comments, on his FB, on his attitude to narcotics. I hope he does not actually experiment further with cannabis, regardless of how desirable he thinks drugs are.”
Mr Zhong has since provided The Independent with an update about the investigation. Revealing that he was “NOT arrested, put into custody, lock up or whatsoever” when he visited the police station, Mr Zhong said that the officers “simply just took my statement in a comfortable office”.
He added: “Everything was surprisingly done in less than an hour and I was free to go. In fact the investigation officers in charge of the case , treated me well professionally and respectfully.”
He added that he has not received any other news in the two weeks since he assisted in the investigation and that the media has not intruded upon his privacy by reporting on the matter, either.
Mr Zhong, however, said that he is “deeply concerned about K Shanmugam harsh stance towards medical cannabis.” He explained:
“It is a humanitarian and moral issue. Why should a cancer patient die in pain? Why should a man be sentenced to death, for distributing cannabis oil for free to patients in need? In a civilised democratic country, everyone should have their own right to use cannabis for medical purposes. Maybe in the future a review can be done.
“At the same time I’m glad that he can turn my remark into a sense of humour. In this time and age the world needs more of that.”
In an earlier interview with Channel NewsAsia, Mr Zhong said that he wishes to “educate” people about the medicinal properties of cannabis and that he seeks to “be the voice for like-minded cannabis enthusiasts but are afraid to speak up”.
He reiterated in that interviews that the “egg remark was just a joke. If I were to do it, I wouldn’t even have said it. Common sense?”
In his update to The Independent, Mr Zhong stressed that he “never had the intention to carry out the act. At the same time, I don’t feel much regret. I feel it’s a matter of freedom of speech, and that we have a right to voice such opinions.”
He concluded his update by expressing his gratefulness to his fellow Singaporeans who supported him during this incident. He wrote:
“Lastly I’m deeply grateful for the utmost support from the majority of my fellow Singaporeans. Some will love you, some will hate you. But at least I don’t hide my face. My identity is for the world to see. That’s the difference. That is awareness. I’m just speaking up for our rights in this democratic and civilised world. All I hope is for freedom of speech to be preserve. Thank you & god bless!”
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