Last month, after the announcement of the expansion of vaccination-differentiated measures, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Social and Family Development issued a joint statement, saying that they were overwhelmed with calls.
It was alleged that some Telegram chat groups have reportedly asked their members to “flood” the phone lines of the two ministries, and these calls were made on the pretext of giving feedback over the new vaccination-differentiated measures, but were really done in hostile retaliation.
One such message on a chat group said: “Get people to demand this gets pushed up to the call centre manager. And ask for them to revert back. Otherwise call again tmr (tomorrow) and ask for any feedback.”
The ministries had then said, “The incitement and carrying out of actions that aim to disrupt any essential call centre operations is illegal.
“We take this matter very seriously, and will not hesitate to work with the police and enforcement agencies to take action where necessary.”
Well, today (25 November 2021), the necessary action is taken.
Police Investigating 2 People for Flooding Hotlines
This afternoon, the Singapore Police Force issued a media release, saying that they are “investigating a 48-year-old man and a 45-year-old woman for their alleged involvement in instigating others to call and overwhelm public hotlines which, among other services provided, help the public with COVID-19 issues. These include the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) Quality Service/Feedback hotline, the Ministry of Social and Family Development’s (MSF) hotline and the National CARE Hotline.”
According to the police, they received a report alleging that the duo had incited more than 2,000 members in a Telegram group to overwhelm public hotlines through sharing their feedback on the stricter COVID-19 measures for unvaccinated people in public places.
As the alleged incitement to overwhelm public hotlines has the potential to obstruct the work of public servants, the Police, in consultation with the Attorney-General’s Chambers, are investigating the man and the woman for an alleged offence of abetment by instigation of persons to obstruct public servants in the discharge of their public functions under Section 186, read with Section 117 of the Penal Code.
So, who’s the duo?
Iris Koh, Founder of Healing the Divide, Said She’s Been Investigated
Just like any police statement, the identity of the suspect isn’t revealed.
Last night (24 November 2021), Iris Koh, the founder of Healing the Divide, said that she’s “going to the Bedok Police Station for investigation on Section 117 and section 186 of the criminal Penal Code” at 10:30am today.
Just a recap: the police statement said that the duo was investigated “under Section 186, read with Section 117 of the Penal Code.”
Her lawyer, Mr M Ravi, had told her not to go because the police need to “arrest him first before her”, but Ms Koh eventually decided to go.
In a follow-up Telegram message in the Healing the Divide Telegram channel, she said that she was at Bedok Police Station, and the police was investigating her husband and her for the “flooding” comment.
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Featured Image: Telegram (Healing The Divide Channel)
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