2 nabbed over alleged obscene act in public

Two men have been arrested for allegedly committing an obscene act in public at the Woodlands Town Garden.

The duo, aged 29 and 63, were caught last Saturday night by police officers from the Jurong Division during an operation at the heartland park.

A spokesman said both men were spotted close to midnight "performing an obscene act in public".

If found guilty, first-time offenders could be fined, or jailed up to three months, or both.

The arrests come after a report this month in The Sunday Times which detailed the illicit activities at Woodlands Town Garden, a heartland park that has grown infamous for its vice activities.

The 11ha park, built in 1983, is tucked away in a corner of Marsiling, close to the Causeway and housing blocks. The park has developed a seedy reputation over the last decade. At night, transgender prostitutes peddle sex openly and solicit customers.

Residents told The Straits Times that they avoid the place because the area feels unsafe.

Newly elected MP for the area, Madam Halimah Yacob, is planning to get the police to step up patrols in the park and get the National Parks Board (NParks) to spruce it up. Madam Halimah had pointed out that 2,000 new Housing Board residential units will be built in that area in the next couple of years and residents "should not be inconvenienced by such activities".

NParks' senior director for parks, Ms Kartini Omar, said it has pruned dense vegetation along footpaths, removed shelters to prevent congregation of groups and enhanced the lighting along the footpaths.

"There are plans to upgrade the park and more measures, including additional lighting, will be looked into," she said.

Danson Cheong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 21, 2015, with the headline '2 nabbed over alleged obscene act in public'. Print Edition | Subscribe