Man who shared photo of dead maid flouted Secrets Act

Fazli Hisham Mohd Fairuz Shah had received the photo from his paramedic girlfriend.
Fazli Hisham Mohd Fairuz Shah had received the photo from his paramedic girlfriend.

A Singapore Airlines (SIA) pilot who shared a photograph of a dead maid in a WhatsApp group after it was sent to him by his paramedic girlfriend has been found guilty of two charges under the Official Secrets Act (OSA).

Fazli Hisham Mohd Fairuz Shah, 29, was convicted yesterday following a trial.

His girlfriend Nurizzah Afiqah Hussain, 27, who was working for private ambulance operator Unistrong Technology at the time, was fined $3,000 in August last year after pleading guilty to two OSA-related offences.

Nurizzah had been attending to an incident at a condominium in eastern Singapore on Feb 1, 2017, when ambulance driver Shaik Haziq Fahmi Shaik Nasair Johar took a photo of the maid and shared it in a WhatsApp group called STN21.

Nurizzah, who was part of the group, then forwarded it to her boyfriend. He was then an SIA pilot but has since left the airline.

In turn, Fazli shared it in a WhatsApp group of friends and acquaintances, along with a photo of a document that stated "Maid hung (sic) herself on the fan". This picture of the document had also been sent by Nurizzah, the court heard.

In his defence, Fazli claimed that he was "completely ignorant of his girlfriend's work" and the nature of the photos, saying he thought "it was something interesting to share".

But Deputy Public Prosecutor Lee Zu Zhao said that such a notion would be "inconsistent with his (national service) background as a section commander in the special rescue platoon in the (Singapore Civil Defence Force)".

Yesterday, District Judge Luke Tan said Fazli would have been aware that the pictures were obtained by Nurizzah in the course of her work. DPP Lee added that a man from Fazli's WhatsApp group shared the two photos with three maids, one of whom posted the photos on Facebook.

 

The images were circulated on social media before the police were alerted on Feb 3, 2017.

Nurizzah and Haziq are no longer working for Unistrong Technology.

Haziq was fined $1,500 in September last year for committing an offence under the OSA.

Fazli is out on bail of $5,000 and due back in court next Monday.

The DPP said: "The accused (said) that after becoming a qualified pilot, he began flying in October 2016, after being employed by (SIA), till July 2017."

For each charge of the offence, Fazli could be jailed for up to two years and fined up to $2,000.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 27, 2019, with the headline 'Man who shared photo of dead maid flouted Secrets Act'. Print Edition | Subscribe