SingaporeScene

Controversial blogger arrested, referred to IMH

23-year-old Jiang Lai threatened to kill herself and was referred to IMH. (Facebook photo)23-year-old Jiang Lai threatened to kill herself and was referred to IMH. (Facebook photo)

A controversial Singapore-based blogger who sparked heated debate about her dating habits has been arrested and referred to the Institute of Mental Health (IMH).

According to The New Paper, 23-year-old Singapore Permanent Resident (PR)  Jiang Lai was arrested after trying to check in to Fairmont Hotel along Bras Basah Road on 13 May.

She reportedly got into an argument with hotel staff after she was asked to make a deposit for a week's stay. During the argument, Jiang threatened to commit suicide and began to speak incoherently.

Jiang was subsequently arrested by police and referred to IMH. It's not clear why she had planned to stay at the hotel for a week when she lives with her parents in Ang Mo Kio.

Currently a Singapore PR, Jiang came to Singapore when she was six and has lived in Singapore since. She studied at CHIJ St. Nicholas Secondary School and Anglo-Chinese Junior College.

Just last month, Jiang Lai shot to online fame after writing on her blog that only Anglo-Chinese School (ACS) schoolboys are worth dating.

In subsequent media interviews, she claimed to be studying at Reed College, a liberal arts college in the US and was on an extended 1 and 1/2 year school break. However, a check with Reed showed that Jiang is currently not enrolled with the school and last studied there in the first half of 2010.

Since her arrest, her Facebook page and blog have not seen any activity.

According to the same paper, the hotel incident is not Jiang's first police case. Jiang was also reported to the police when she threatened to pour concentrated hydrochloric acid on a woman's face in a blog post of 7 May. She later retracted that comment and posted an apology on her blog.

The woman who lodged the report is the wife of a man Jiang used to be involved with. The police classified this case as attempted extortion. Investigations are still ongoing.

Before these incidents, Jiang wrote a blog entry titled "Boys Schools" which rated how boys from different secondary schools would fare as boyfriend material. She also wrote extensively about her own experiences of dating boys from schools such Chinese High School, Catholic High School, Raffles Institution and St. Andrews Secondary School.

Screencap of Ms Jiang’s controversial blog post. (Yahoo!)Screencap of Ms Jiang’s controversial blog post. (Yahoo!)

In an earlier interview with this reporter at the Yahoo! office last month, Jiang called Singapore a country that "raised her".

When asked about why she started her controversial blog, she had this to say.

"The whole reason I started the blog is because I felt that there is deep injustice," said Jiang, referring to Singapore's education system.

She claimed the reason why she claimed only ACS boys were dating was because she was trying to get a student she taught during her time as a relief teacher at a local primary school to get into ACS.

She also claimed the things she said about the boys she dated from the various boy schools were to influence the student's choice of secondary school after PSLE.

During this reporter's one-hour interview with her, Jiang seemed confident and chatty, often giving well thought-out answers to various questions.

When asked if she was afraid about the backlash from her controversial blog posts, she was unfazed. "What is the backlash you tell me? You must look at the quality of the slamming. Is this all you can say about me? That I'm fat and prostitute-looking?" Jiang responded.

Jiang was also extremely receptive when Yahoo! Singapore initially approached her for an interview. She said she was "happy to talk" and even asked the reporter out for coffee in the future.

However a few weeks later, Jiang deleted the reporter off her Facebook list. Before her arrest, she also displayed an exhibitionist side when she posed a photo of herself posing in her underwear.

Dr Ang Yong Guan, a consultant psychiatrist at Paragon Medical, told The New Paper that Jiang showed signs of borderline personality disorder.

He commented that "people with borderline personality disorder often feel insecure, inadequate and behave impulsively and irrationally at times."

Another psychiatrist from Gleneagles Medical Centre, Dr Adrian Wang, added that "many people will use their blog as a medium to vent their feelings, and they may say very negative things when they are upset."

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