Under what situations and conditions would the police launch an investigation?

Mr Edmund Zhong's joke of wanting to throw an egg at Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam was most disrespectful and clearly in poor taste (Remark about throwing egg at minister a joke, says 20-year-old, March 27).

However, to most casual observers - and to Mr Shanmugam himself, who wrote in a Facebook post, "When I was told about it, I laughed it off - the somewhat exaggerated words of a young man" - the threat itself seemed rather innocuous and highly unlikely to materialise.

From Mr Shanmugam's statement, it also appears that he was not the one who reported the matter to the police.

So did the police act based on a complaint by a member of the public?

I think it is of public interest to know under what situations and conditions the police would launch an investigation.

For instance, were the police obliged to act given that Mr Shanmugam is a high-ranking public servant, or would they have acted similarly if the complaint concerned a member of the public?

Could the police also disclose whether they actively monitor Facebook and, if so, could they detail whether they focus on Facebook discussion groups as well as the kind of comments that they could get Singaporeans in trouble with the law?

Does Facebook help the Home Ministry in actively monitoring such content that may be deemed offensive? If so, can it also disclose if it screens only discussion groups, or also personal posts or private e-mails to friends as well?

Chan Yeow Chuan

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