SINGAPORE (THE NEW PAPER) - A woman who made headlines after claiming to be a "sovereign" when she refused to wear a mask in public was apparently outed on Tuesday morning (May 5).
Her name, photographs and personal details were revealed on social media, prompting a string of racist and xenophobic comments against her.
But in identifying her as the chief executive officer of a tech company, the doxxers had targeted an innocent party who was not involved in the incident at Shunfu Mart on Sunday.
The New Paper is not naming the CEO to spare her from further embarrassment.
Hours later, another woman, Paramjeet Kaur, a 40-year-old physiotherapist, was charged in court with breaching safe distancing regulations and being a public nuisance.
A charge of Kaur assaulting another woman who told her to put on a mask was dropped.
Videos of the incident on Sunday show Kaur refusing to put on a mask while claiming she is a "sovereign" who is not subject to the laws here.
Soon after her arrest on Monday night, Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam said that her claims were odd, and he had checked what she might have meant by referring to herself as a "sovereign".
"There is a movement in the United States, and adherents to that movement (broadly speaking) reject government, reject the police and any kind of authority," he wrote in a Facebook post.
"But then such people should not live within society - she should not expect any of the benefits that come from this system of governance, including her security, medical care, other benefits."
Chinese evening daily Lianhe Wanbao reported that Kaur, a Singaporean, had lived in Australia for 20 years before returning to Singapore last year.
TNP's checks found that details of the CEO were circulating on the All Singapore Stuff Telegram chat group from 7.30am on Tuesday and on the Facebook page "Real Issues in Singapore Covered by Posts Published by Prabu" from 9am. Her media interviews were also shared on the SGTalk forum.
Some of the comments noted that doxxing is a crime. It became illegal after amendments to the Protection from Harassment Act this year.
Doxxing involves the publishing of someone's personal details with the intention to cause harassment, alarm or distress. They include photos, employment and education details.
Lawyer Fong Wei Li told TNP this was a clear-cut case of doxxing, and the CEO could pursue legal action against those who had targeted her.
"Theoretically, even those who share the original posts that doxxed her can be made liable, and she can pursue a criminal or civil case against them," he said.
"But one would likely go after the root cause, making an example of the person who made the original post that incited the harassment."
Mr Fong said the CEO should make a police report.
TNP contacted her company for comment, but it could not reply by press time.
First-time offenders publishing personal information with the intention to cause harassment, alarm or distress can be jailed for up to six months, fined up to $5,000, or both.
The maximum penalties are doubled for repeat offenders.