Man charged with inciting violence against policemen

Chia is said to have posted two comments on Facebook with links to news stories about a 14-year-old boy who fell to his death in January, allegedly inciting violence and 
urging the authorities to reveal the identities of the five plainclothes polic
Chia is said to have posted two comments on Facebook with links to news stories about a 14-year-old boy who fell to his death in January, allegedly inciting violence and urging the authorities to reveal the identities of the five plainclothes policemen who were involved in the case. ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

A man was charged yesterday with inciting violence against police officers who had investigated a case involving a 14-year-old boy who later fell to his death.

Internet marketeer Chia Choon Kiat, 40, whose Facebook user name is "Rambo Power", is said to have posted two comments on Facebook with links to news stories concerning the teen's death in January.

Between Feb 2 and 5, he allegedly incited violence by posting the comment: "When people buay lun already... will need to take matters into our own hands." "Buay lun'' is Hokkien for "cannot take it".

Chia allegedly urged the authorities to reveal the identities of the five plainclothes policemen involved in the case and added, "we go handle them ourselves. Kill them".

The teen, Benjamin Lim, was found dead at the foot of his Housing Board block in Yishun on Jan 26, hours after plainclothes officers had taken him from North View Secondary School to be questioned over a case of alleged molestation at Ang Mo Kio Police Division.

His death sparked discussions on whether minors should be accompanied by a parent or guardian when questioned by police.

Police announced in February that they are reviewing their procedures for interviewing young persons.

Chia made a similar post on Facebook on Feb 5, this time linking to a news article from Yahoo titled "We cannot forgive the way my son was treated: Benjamin Lim's father in open letter''.

Chia faces a third charge of inciting violence for a post that he allegedly wrote at 3.58am on Jan 13 from his Woodlands home. It read: "Don't play or attack Cigarette Butt Officers when they are on duty, they are under protection of the government.

"Track and Trace them down where they stay and where they work and 'play' them when they are off duty with no government's protection and cannot claim medical fees from their boss."

Chia, represented by Mr Alfred Dodwell, is out on $15,000 bail and will be back in court on Monday.

The prosecution will then ask that he be remanded at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) for psychiatric assessment.

Mr Dodwell had indicated to the court that his client is willing to be assessed by the IMH. If convicted, Chia could be jailed for up to five years and/or fined on each charge.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 13, 2016, with the headline 'Man charged with inciting violence against policemen'. Print Edition | Subscribe