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Using criminal force to deter a public servant such as a safe distancing ambassador from discharging his duty carries a punishment of up to four years’ jail or a fine, or both. ― TODAY pic
Using criminal force to deter a public servant such as a safe distancing ambassador from discharging his duty carries a punishment of up to four years’ jail or a fine, or both. ― TODAY pic

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SINGAPORE, Aug 14 — Four men and one woman, aged 33 to 58, were charged yesterday (August 13) with offences related to abusive behaviour towards public servants. In two cases, they are accused of flouting Covid-19 laws.

The five are accused of offences committed in separate incidents between January and June this year, including swearing at a safe distancing ambassador and slapping an enforcement officer.

In a statement on Thursday, the police provided details of the alleged offences and advised the public to take safe distancing rules seriously.

“The police take a stern view of abusive behaviour against public servants or public service workers who are carrying out their public duties and irresponsible behaviour relating to the flouting of safe distancing measures,” they said.

Desmond Tan Chang Chai, 39

On January 24, a safe distancing ambassador attached to the National Environment Agency (NEA) came across Tan, a stall operator at Ang Mo Kio, not wearing a mask.

The safe distancing ambassador then asked a town council staff member to advise Tan to put on a mask.

After Tan did so, he allegedly shouted expletives at the safe distancing ambassador.

The incident occurred while Tan was on a 12-month conditional warning for another alleged offence of using abusive language at a Certis Cisco officer, who was enforcing safe distancing regulations, in May last year.

Tan, a Singaporean, was charged with one count of using abusive words towards a public servant and one count of using abusive words with the intent to cause alarm to a person under the Protection from Harassment Act.

Halimi Kamis, 40

On January 25, an NEA enforcement officer found Halimi smoking at a void deck of a public housing block near Bedok North Road.

When the officer approached the 40-year-old Singaporean, he turned aggressive and allegedly slapped the officer.

Halimi faces one charge of using criminal force to deter a public servant from discharging his duty, one count of using threatening words to a public servant and one count of breaching Covid-19 regulations.

Leow Chee Sieng, 46

On March 19, a group of Certis Cisco officers and safe distancing ambassadors attached to the Singapore Food Agency had noticed Leow without a mask at the Pasir Panjang Wholesale Centre.

When they approached Leow, the 46-year-old permanent resident allegedly used vulgar language and repeatedly pointed his middle finger at the group of enforcement officers.

The man was later arrested by the police when he allegedly pulled down his pants and urinated in public.

Leow faces three charges — one of abusive words and behaviour towards public servants, one of causing annoyance while drunk and one for breaching Covid-19 regulations.

Zubaidah Zaninal Abidin, 58

Zubaidah is accused of making abusive remarks at a Certis Cisco officer on March 6 after she saw the officer talking to her daughter, who was smoking at a void deck of a public housing block along Bedok Reservoir Road.

The 58-year-old Singaporean allegedly used abusive language and referred to the officer as a pig in Malay.

She faces one count of using abusive words to a public servant.

Mohamad Taib Zuhri, 33

Mohamad Taib is accused of swearing at a Certis Cisco officer performing parking enforcement duties after the officer left a summon ticket on his motorcycle that was parked on Kempas Road on June 24.

The 33-year-old Singaporean allegedly threatened the officer in Malay, translated as “I punch your face”, “You go and die”, and “I swear you die”.

He faces one count of using abusive and threatening words on a public servant.

Punishments

Offenders found guilty of using abusive words against a public servant can be jailed for up to 12 months or fined up to S$5,000 (RM15,640), or both.

Using criminal force to deter a public servant from discharge of his duty carries a punishment of up to four years’ jail or a fine, or both.

First-time offenders convicted of causing annoyance while drunk may be jailed for up to six months or fined up to S$1,000, or both.

Under temporary Covid-19 laws, first-time offenders convicted of not wearing a mask or not wearing it properly outside their home face a fine of up to S$10,000 or a jail term of up to six months, or both. ― TODAY

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