by Teo Soh Lung
I said it too soon. I confidently told Simon Vincent, author of “The Naysayer’s Book Club” that the police would pay for the damage caused to my laptop. No, they are not paying. Simon needs to update his essay for his next edition!
Readers will recall that I was investigated for posting/sharing four posts on my facebook on Cooling Off Day on 5 May 2016. Such postings not only constitute an offence under the myriad of anti-people laws applicable in Singapore, it also empowers the police to raid homes and seize properties.
During the hostile interrogation at the Cantonment Police Station on 31 May 2016, I was threatened with handcuffs and arrest by 4 plainclothes police officers with numerous more walking up and down the corridor of the rows of interrogation rooms, just because I refused to hand over my mobile phone. (I could see the corridor because the wall of the room is glass).
Four plainclothes officers escorted me to my flat in a police vehicle. Arriving at my block, I was met by another 4 officers who identified themselves as the forensic team. So eight police officers entered my flat and took away my desktop CPU, a Fujitsu laptop and my Samsung Galaxy 6 which I purchased just a month earlier. The Singapore police needed eight police officers to investigate a petty offence. This is clearly intimidation and harassment.
On 10 July 2017, the three items were returned to me. The Fujitsu laptop was damaged. The screen was cracked and the back cover broken. The investigating officer tried her best to resolve the matter by checking out the costs of repair and spare parts. It is an old laptop and spare parts are not readily available. But due to her hard work, she said she found the spare parts and told me that her technician could replace the damaged screen and chipped cover of the hard disk.
In the meantime, my desktop CPU no longer works. This is to be expected because the computers were left idle, probably in a non air-conditioned room for over a year.
I suggested to the investigating officer that I would prefer to be compensated with $1,000 as I have already incurred expenses with the purchase of a Lenovo laptop in June 2016 at $669. I have also been put through much inconvenience, including incurring legal costs.
On 13 December 2017, as suggested by the investigating officer, I wrote to the police as follows:
POLICE REPORT NO: A/20160527/7009
I refer to the investigation into the above report which culminated in a stern warning being issued to me on 10 July 2017. The seized properties have been returned to me.
I am advised by Insp Angie Ng to write to you pertaining to matters relating to the damage to my Fujitsu laptop. I appreciate the trouble taken by Insp Angie Ng in attempting to resolve the matter. In my last note to Insp Ng, I informed her that I would settle the damage to my laptop with a compensation of $1000. This sum is really trivial because the seizure of my properties have caused me a great deal of inconvenience and expense. My desktop is also rendered unuseable today.
Please let me know if you will settle the matter at $1000 and send me a cheque to my above address.
Teo Soh Lung
I had expected payment without a fuss as $1,000 is really nothing to the government. There was no response.
On 19 Feb 2018, I sent a reminder by registered post. The investigating officer said the matter has been referred to the attorney general chambers and is being reviewed. To date, I have not received any response.
I take it that the attorney general chambers is not interested in resolving the matter.
I recently purchased a i3-7100 Dell Cpu which costs $878 including Microsoft Office Home edition.
A few days ago, I cannibalised the desktop CPU and laptop. On the hard disk drive of the CPU is an orange colour CID/TCFB Exhibit Label marked TSL-2. On the hard disk drive of the laptop is a similar label marked TSL-3. Presumably, my mobile phone (which I have no choice but continue to use) must have a similar label marked TSL-1.
It is clear to me that the police have duplicated the entire hard disks of my CPU, laptop and mobile phone. The power to seize properties has enabled them to know much more than those petty Cooling Off Day offences. The alleged offences are only an excuse for their primary intent which is to mine my hard disks.
Singaporeans have lost all their fundamental rights because the PAP like UMNO in Malaysia have ruled too long. I am very happy with the outcome of the Malaysian 2018 general election. Malaysians have enormous courage when they voted decisively to change government on 9 May 2018. Malaysia Boleh!
Singaporeans have allowed the PAP to rule without restraint for more than half a century. It is a very long time and many anti-people laws have been passed by the government. Today the government is contemplating a fake news law, a law which contributed to the downfall of UMNO. Let’s hope that a similar fate befall the PAP if it does enact the law!
Today, I have fallen victim to the police. They are permitted to seize and damage properties with immunity. Don’t think you will never be a victim! Change our government before it is too late.