Conditional warning for netizen who wanted to throw egg at Shanmugam

Singaporean Edmund Zhong, 21, had made the comment on a CNA Facebook post in March last year.
Singaporean Edmund Zhong, 21, had made the comment on a CNA Facebook post in March last year.

A 12-month conditional warning has been issued to 21-year-old Edmund Zhong, the Singaporean man who said he wanted to throw an egg at Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam in a Facebook comment in March last year.

The police said in a statement on Wednesday that their investigations have concluded and an advisory has also been issued to a 48-year-old Singaporean man who responded to the comment, telling the younger netizen where Mr Shanmugam could be present at an upcoming Meet-the-People session.

The comments were made on a CNA Facebook post regarding the controversy surrounding then Australian Senator Fraser Anning's remarks on the Christchurch shootings on March 15 last year that left 50 dead and dozens injured.

The right-wing senator, who was widely condemned for blaming the terror attacks on Muslims, was hit with an egg on the back of his head by a young man at a Melbourne event on March 16 last year.

"I wanna do that to K. Shanmugam. I swear," commented Zhong, according to a screenshot of the comment thread that appeared on socio-political website The Independent.

Another user named Jack Ng said: "I will supply the egg."

User Louis Ng said: "Go on."

On March 26 last year, Zhong, then a full-time national serviceman in the army, said: "I posted it just as a joke, based on the news on the Australian senator... I just commented to draw a link to our local context, and then another guy just added fuel to the fire. I don't even know the guy at all."

He added: "To be honest, I don't feel much regret. I feel it's a matter of freedom of speech, and that we have a right to voice such opinions."

In Wednesday's statement, the police said that Zhong had committed several drug-related offences before.

In 2017, he was arrested for consuming and possessing cannabis and drug-taking utensils.

He was sentenced to 12 months' detention in the Singapore Armed Forces' Detention Barracks, and completed his sentence in 2018.

The following year, he abused new psychoactive substances.

He was convicted of his latest drug offences and is now serving a three-year jail term.

The police said they take such threats seriously and listed an incident during a Meet-the-People session in 2018, when a man with a history of drug abuse grabbed Jurong GRC MP Tan Wu Meng by the neck in a chokehold, slammed his head and back against a wall and yanked him into a kneeling position on the ground before punching and kicking him.

The attacker was jailed for three months.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 13, 2020, with the headline 'Conditional warning for netizen who wanted to throw egg at Shanmugam'. Print Edition | Subscribe