Did you know that Singapore’s COVID-19 cops can enter your house without a warrant?
Actor-influencer Nick Mikhail Razak learned that the hard way Saturday when six officers streamed into his home in response to complaints about gatherings there. But, as Nick recounted in a back-and-forth dispute with their agency, they found nothing out of order and behaved unprofessionally toward his wife, who was in pajamas and feeling unwell after her vaccine jab.
“The house was empty, the house was very dark. It was very quiet, but they still [weren’t] happy, so they barged in,” the Malay channel star said on Instagram last night, refuting the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s assertion the officers had not trespassed.
Nick said that three safe distancing officers and three police escorts had entered his home.
Responding to Nick’s initial complaint, the authority told reporters that his wife had invited them inside, while insisting that the lights were on and two vehicles parked outside – a possible sign he was breaking current rules limiting households to two visitors per day.
Nick countered that with other security footage showing only one car outside his residence.
The actor, who also sells loans, said that he wasn’t home when the roughly 10-minute incident happened just before 11pm – part of which was captured by his home surveillance. But he was visibly mad about officers arriving without prior notice, and the fact that a male officer took his wife into a room alone for questioning. The other officers, including one woman, later streamed into the room while the police stayed outside. That appeared to contradict the authority’s claim all had entered “in a single file” around the same time, despite footage showing some hanging around the living room.
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“How stupid are you? It’s a woman in pajamas. That is very, very private,” Nick said on Instagram, where he has 60,000 followers, adding: “Are you a pervert? Or are you just trying your luck? I’m not accusing you but as a man, when you do that, this comes to my mind.”
Nick thinks that the whole group of officers should have followed his “groggy” wife into the room, especially since none wore body cameras to document any potential sexual abuse. Nick, who is a familiar face on Malay shows aired on Suria channel in the past, later suggested that both police and safe distancing officers go for retraining.
On the issue of trespassing, Nick argued: “Yes it’s true that you guys didn’t trespass because my wife let you in. But to me, you entered my compound without even being invited. That’s already trespassing. But my wife invited you to the house. So it’s a very grey line here.”
The redevelopment authority told reporters last night that its enforcers are allowed to enter homes to check for COVID-19 compliance, something that has sparked fear among Singaporeans.
“That gives the ‘baddies’ opportunity to impersonate as SDEO to force entry into homes to rob. Isn’t it scary,” Facebook user Siew Chng Tan said, referring to the acronym for safe distancing enforcers.
“How does one know these [so-called] officers are not impersonators?? So many scammers these days …” another named Jane Chang said.
The agency said it received “repeated” complaints about social gatherings at several homes in the area, including Nick’s. It did not disclose the neighborhood.
“[S]afe distancing enforcement officers are empowered to enter, inspect and search various premises, including residences, without a warrant, to check whether the COVID-19 regulations are being complied with,” it said. “Nonetheless, officers will calibrate their approach for each premises, based on the circumstances of each case.”
This article, ‘Are you a pervert?’ actor asks Singapore officers who surprised his ‘groggy’ wife at home, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia’s leading alternative media company.