Singapore says blogger’s allegation on Malaysian auxiliary police officers unfounded

Singapore activist Han Hui Hui had published an online article titled Alone in a cell in her blog at the website which contained allegations about the mistreatment. — Picture by K.E. Ooi
Singapore activist Han Hui Hui had published an online article titled Alone in a cell in her blog at the website which contained allegations about the mistreatment. — Picture by K.E. Ooi

SINGAPORE, March 14 — The allegation by blogger Han Hui Hui that Malaysian auxiliary police officers (APOs) had made disparaging comments about Singaporeans is unfounded.

The Singapore Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said today, it was one of Han’s five allegations of mistreatment in the republic’s State Courts lock-up.

Han,24, had published an online article titled Alone in a cell in her blog at the website which contained allegations about the mistreatment.

“These allegations are baseless and false,” said the MHA on its website.  The team overseeing the lock-up consists of prisons officers supported by both Singaporean and Malaysian APOs hired by Singapore Prisons Service (SPS). 

Han was found guilty and fined S$3,100 (RM9753.54) in June 2016 for disrupting a charity event for special needs children at Hong Lim Park in 2014 by leading a rowdy protest, which she organised without approval from the National Parks Board.

The MHA said the SPS had interviewed the relevant officers and reviewed the closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage and documents in relation to Han’s custody in the lock-up.

Han’s other allegation was that she was a subject to a strip search.  However, the MHA said that she was searched by a female officer and had remained clothed for the entire duration.

Another allegation that male officers had walked past while she was being searched “is untrue,” said the MHA.

“Ms Han was based in the women’s wing of the lock-up, which is not accessible to male officers. A privacy screen is also deployed when a search is in progress,” it added.

Han’s claim that detainees were not given toiletries after relieving themselves “is also untrue” since toilet paper was made available to detainees ”upon request.”

The MHA said Han was provided with lunch during her temporary custody.  “Han could have raised the issues at any time while she was in custody and the SPS would have looked into it. However, she chose not to do so. Instead, she chose to publish the fabricated, false and misleading accounts on social media. 

“The MHA takes all allegations seriously and will investigate them thoroughly. However, we will vigorously defend our officers from baseless attacks to ensure that the integrity of our law enforcement agencies is not undermined,” it added. — Bernama

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