Vandalism of six bus stops in Clarke Quay under probe

One of the bus stops in the Clarke Quay area that were vandalised. The police confirmed that a report was lodged early last Friday. It is understood that LTA contractors were dispatched by mid-afternoon to clean up the affected areas. -- PHOTO: TNP
One of the bus stops in the Clarke Quay area that were vandalised. The police confirmed that a report was lodged early last Friday. It is understood that LTA contractors were dispatched by mid-afternoon to clean up the affected areas. -- PHOTO: TNP

6 bus stops defaced by apparent supporters of blogger Roy Ngerng, LTA confirms

The police are investigating a string of vandalism acts by apparent supporters of blogger Roy Ngerng, who was last week served a letter of demand for a post on May 15 alleging that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had misappropriated Central Provident Fund (CPF) savings.

Mr Ngerng apologised to PM Lee last Friday, and admitted that the allegation in his May 15 post is false and "completely without foundation".

He added: "I unreservedly apologise to Mr Lee Hsien Loong for the distress and embarrassment caused to him by this allegation."

On the same day, information and advertising boards at several bus stops around Clarke Quay were found defaced with text such as "We support CPF blogger" and "Return CPF money" in black block letters, according to a report in The New Paper yesterday.

Yesterday, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) confirmed that graffiti was found at six bus stops, one of which was right outside the Old Hill Street Police Station.

The police confirmed that a report was lodged early last Friday. It is understood that LTA contractors were dispatched by mid-afternoon to clean up the affected areas.

When The Sunday Times visited the vicinity of the Old Hill Street Police Station, there were no traces of the graffiti.

The culprit or culprits could face up to three years in jail or a fine of up to $2,000, and could also receive between three and eight strokes of the cane.

Moulmein-Kallang GRC Member of Parliament Denise Phua condemned the acts which occurred in her ward and called for common sense to prevail.

"Such forms of negative expression are not useful in helping Roy Ngerng's current situation or addressing the deeper issues concerning CPF withdrawal," she said.

"The issue calls for a rational, deeper and more constructive dialogue."

Mr Ngerng, while asking the authorities to exercise "forgiveness and leniency" in dealing with the vandals, urged supporters not to resort to illegal means to show their support.

"This might not be the most appropriate way to get their message out...," he told The Sunday Times.

Instead the 33-year-old health- care worker suggested that they can join him at Hong Lim Park next month for an event that he is organising in protest against the CPF scheme.

He added that he would like to get in touch with those responsible for the vandalism should they be charged by the police, so that he could see how to help them procure legal assistance.

Last Friday's acts of vandalism came less than three weeks after the rooftop of a block of Housing Board flats in Toa Payoh was painted with profanity directed at the ruling party and the police.

Five 17-year-olds were arrested and charged with vandalism, criminal trespass, and other charges days after residents spotted red graffiti splashed on a wall of the 22-storey block in Lorong 4 Toa Payoh on May 7.

By 11.30am, the graffiti was painted over by Bishan-Toa Payoh Town Council.

Last month, four boys aged nine and 10 were arrested on suspicion of vandalism after vulgarities and a slogan linked to loan sharks were found spray-painted on property and cars in Punggol.

hpeishan@sph.com.sg