Singapore — An attack on two enforcement officers on Monday night has been criticised by Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu in a Facebook post on Tuesday (Nov 10).

One of the Certis officers attached to the National Environment Agency (NEA) had issued a fine for a smoking offence to a man when he and the other officer were assaulted by another person. One officer was punched in the face and the other slashed in the hand and legs with a sickle.

The attacker was a third party who was present but not implicated in the smoking enforcement action.

The incident happened in Canberra Link at around 7.30 in the evening. The injured officers were taken to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital. One received outpatient treatment, the other was reported on Tuesday to be recovering in the hospital.

The assailant escaped after the attack but the police were able to establish his identity within seven hours through police cameras and the body cameras of the two officers.

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The 30-year-old was arrested and set to be charged on Wednesday (Nov 11) with voluntarily causing hurt with a dangerous weapon. He faces a fine, jail of up to seven years, caning or any combination of the three punishments if he is found guilty.

Ms Fu wrote on Facebook: “We take acts of violence against our officers very seriously. Any act of abuse against public officers will not be tolerated. The police are currently investigating the incident and we will not hesitate to take action against the perpetrator if found guilty.”

She added that officers are hard at work to maintain the safety and well-being of every Singaporean and, therefore, deserve respect as well as “the right to safety in discharging their duties”.

“They must know that we’ve got their backs covered. I wish the officers a speedy recovery,” she said.

Ms Fu added a reminder for everyone to keep observing public safety measures.

“I would also like to remind the public that this is not the time to ignore our safe management measures. Singapore has been able to keep the cases low because of the cooperation and compliance of everyone. I am concerned to see an increasing number of flagrant violations of the rules. I urge you to continue to observe the measures to keep your family and friends safe from infection.”

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Indeed, other incidents of individuals assaulting others who remind them to observe safety measures have been reported.

There have been incidents of people boarding buses refusing to put on their masks, with one man even assaulting the bus driver.

A woman who refused to wear a mask and who attacked four people in Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) in July was charged last month with breaching a Covid-19 regulation by failing to wear a mask and with voluntarily causing hurt. /TISG