SINGAPORE, Feb 7 — Prominent blogger Wendy Cheng, better known by her moniker Xiaxue, has obtained a Protection Order against Facebook page SMRT Ltd (Feedback) for repeated harassment against her and her family — in a rare instance where such an order is taken out against anonymous perpetrators under the recently-enacted Protection from Harassment Act.
In a blog post yesterday, Cheng, 30, said she had applied for the court order out of fear for the safety of her and her family, given that her address had been circulated online.
She alleged that the page had made snide remarks about her, cast doubt on her integrity and accused her of fraud. Her husband Michael Sayre and son Dashiel have also been subjected to negative comments, she claimed.
Cheng told TODAY that she had taken legal action after learning about the Act, which came into force on Nov 15 last year.
The Protection Order that she obtained prohibits SMRT Ltd (Feedback) from passing insults and publishing abusive content about her and her family.
Cheng’s lawyers could serve notice only to the Facebook page via email and a private message on the social networking site, as the page’s administrators remain anonymous.
SMRT Ltd (Feedback) was served the order by the State Courts in absentia after a hearing yesterday.
Flouting the order could result in a fine of up to S$5,000 (RM13,111.234), a jail term of up to six months or both.
Lawyer Daniel Chia said that in this case, the Protection Order could be difficult to enforce, as the perpetrators are anonymous.
Chia, who is director of Stamford Law Corporation, added: “If they flout the order, lawyers can go to court and get a follow-up order to trace the anonymous people. She could go that far, but it would be expensive.”
Responding to the Protection Order, SMRT (Ltd) Feedback said on Facebook that it had stopped making insulting remarks against Ms Cheng or any others and that it had no interest in contesting the order.
In an update last month, the State Courts said that 79 Magistrate’s Complaints for harassment were filed between November 15 and January 7.
There have also been 13 applications for Protection Orders by way of originating summons.
Magistrate’s complaints relate to criminal matters, while originating summons are for civil actions. — TODAY