Threatening letter sent to DPM Tharman under the name of Sungei Road market's chairman

The police are investigating a threatening letter sent to Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam.
The police are investigating a threatening letter sent to Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The police are investigating a threatening letter sent to Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam under the name of the chairman of the Sungei Road flea market’s association, The Straits Times understands.

“The police confirm that reports have been lodged. We are unable to comment further as investigations are ongoing,” the Singapore Police Force said in response to queries from The Straits Times (ST).

ST understands that the letter, addressed to DPM Tharman, was written in English and had two hell notes attached to it.

The one-room MacPherson flat of Mr Koh Eng Khoon, the chairman of the Association for the Recycling of Second Hand Goods at Sungei Road flea market, was raided at midnight on Thursday.

Mr Koh, 76, whom friends refer to as “Ah Koon”, told ST in Mandarin that two plain-clothed police officers raided his home, where he lives with his 72-year-old wife, who works as a cleaner.

He denied any involvement.

Mr Koh said: “I was shocked. I couldn’t understand who would want to sabotage me and use my name.

“The police took photos, searched my things and opened my cupboards. They asked if I knew how to write in English but I don’t. I didn’t even know about the existence of such a letter.”

His phone was also confiscated.

Mr Koh said he went to a police station near his home and made a statement on Friday afternoon.

“I told them to please investigate and to clear my name.”

He had started a petition in late February urging the authorities to allocate an alternative or temporary site to the market, which is set to close from July 11 to make way for future residential developments.

He has gathered about 4,000 signatures.

Mr Koh’s association, which represents about 70 of 200 vendors at the flea market, was set up in 2012.

Yesterday, Today Online reported it had received a copy of a handwritten letter, addressed to “PM Lee Hsien Loong and the other MPs”, which expressed anger that the market will not be relocated.

The letter said: “Don’t forget the 200 people and supporters. We only ask for this place. That’s not much.” It was signed off by “Koh Eng Khoon (Friend)”.

The Government has said, categorically, that the market will not be relocated.