Man who criticised dead Traffic Police officer charged with stealing perfume from Mustafa Centre

Thomas Chua Poh Heng, 39, was nabbed on Sunday for alleged shop theft at a departmental store along Syed Alwi Road.
Thomas Chua Poh Heng, 39, was nabbed on Sunday for alleged shop theft at a departmental store along Syed Alwi Road.PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM FACEBOOK/ K. SHANMUGAM

SINGAPORE - Thomas Chua Poh Heng, who drew flak online for his Facebook post criticising a Traffic Police officer who died in the line of duty, was charged with shoplifting on Monday (June 5).

He allegedly stole a 100ml bottle of Must de Cartier perfume worth $98 from Mustafa Centre.

Chua will be remanded at the Institute of Mental Health for psychiatric assessment. He will be back in court on June 19.

If convicted of shoplifting, he can be jailed up to seven years and fined.

Chua, 38, was arrested for the alleged theft on Sunday (June 4) at 5.37am, police said in a news release early Monday.

The part-time deliveryman was detained by in-house security officers outside the store with an unpaid item and handed over to police.

Police added that Chua, prior to his arrest for alleged shop theft, was already under investigation for three other separate police reports lodged against him since January this year.

Chua was slammed by netizens after he put up a Facebook post criticising Staff Sergeant Nadzrie Matin, 29 - who was killed while on duty after an accident along Serangoon Road last Thursday - for issuing him a ticket. The post has since been taken down.

The police clarified on Monday that Chua had a string of traffic violations to his name, but none of them were issued by SSG Nadzrie.

Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam, in a Facebook post on Saturday, said he was "deeply upset and angry" by Chua's comments.

"People like Thomas are sick in the head. No decency or any sense of right and wrong," he wrote.

Mr Shanmugam added that the comments were an insult to all police officers and deeply offensive to SSG Nadzrie's family.

Replying to media queries, the police said that the remarks Chua made on SSG Nadzrie "were hurtful and unfair towards the police".

"They not only hurt the police officers but also the late (officer's) family, friends and loved ones. The police will remain professional and objective in conducting our criminal investigations into (Chua's) offences," the police said.