Schizophrenic patient who threatened to bomb Singapore given mandatory treatment

Lee Soo Liang was ordered to undergo 24 months of mandatory treatment for his mental conditions by the State court.
Lee Soo Liang was ordered to undergo 24 months of mandatory treatment for his mental conditions by the State court. PHOTO: ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - A psychiatric patient who called the police, threatened to join Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and bomb Singapore was on Monday ordered by the State courts to undergo 24 months of mandatory treatment for his mental conditions.

Lee Soo Liang, 37, who suffers from schizophrenia and obsessive compulsive disorder had issued the threat on Nov 15 because he wanted to stay at the Institute of Mental Health(IMH) or go to jail, according to court documents.

He wanted to join his mother who resides at the IMH and ex-girlfriend who was recently admitted.

Lee had made the call from the Simei Care Centre, where he had been residing for the past eight years.

The centre is for people with psychiatric disabilities. Residents are allowed to leave the centre as and when they wish, but are subject to a curfew and required to attend certain mandatory courses.

Lee "had absolutely no intention to join ISIS or bomb Singapore", the prosecution told the court. He was not in communication with anybody linked to ISIS and "did not know nor have the means to make a bomb", although he was aware of the group.

Lee was initially charged under the United Nations (Anti-terrorism Measures) Regulations for making a false threat of a terrorist act. However, his charge was later reduced to one of transmitting a false message to the police by virtue of his "lengthy history of psychiatric illness", the prosecution said.

Lee's case manager at the centre, Mr Chew Jee Seng, said that Lee was generally well behaved and compliant. On Nov 11, however, he was found to be feeling "low" and two days later, he expressed a wish to leave the centre and to reside in a destitute home forever.

Lee was otherwise known to be of mild character and has not exhibited any aggression or violence. A psychiatric report showed that he was in a stable mental state when he made the threat.

While the prosecution had treated Lee's threat very seriously and initiated criminal proceedings against him, it is clear that Lee had been "motivated by a misguided desire to be sent to jail or to IMH", the court heard.

An IMH report had stated that Lee's schizophrenia had some contributory effect to his offence in the form of his "paranoid ideas and impaired judgement".

Seven police officers were deployed to the centre following the incident, and Lee was arrested and taken to Bedok Police Division for investigations.

Under the Telecommunications Act, anyone who transmits a false message may be jailed for up to three years and, fined up to $10,000, or both.

jalmsab@sph.com.sg