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A 41-year-old man was sentenced to six months in jail on Thursday (20 October) for inciting violence against the police officers who arrested Benjamin Lim as well as National Environment Agency (NEA) officers.
According to The Straits Times, Internet marketeer Chia Choon Kiat pleaded guilty to three of eight charges.
Between 2 and 5 February this year, Chia posted a link on his Facebook account to a Yahoo Singapore article on the death of Benjamin Lim, 14. The teenager had been questioned for allegedly molesting a girl and committed suicide shortly after being released from police custody.
Chia’s post, under the handle “Rambo Power”, included a comment stating, “When people buay lun (Hokkien for ‘cannot endure’) already… (we) will need to take matters into our own hands. Please reveal the identify of the 5 plain clothes officers and we go handle them ourselves. Kill them.”
A separate post on 24 January this year, titled “CigButtWarriors”, included incitements of violence against NEA officers and their family members. Chia was also charged for posting a graphic video depicting the killing of a pig along with the comment, “Let’s do this to NEA Cigarette Butt Officers.”
The police were alerted to an article on the All Singapore Stuff website on 5 February that highlighted a post by a “Raging netizen” who encouraged violence against the police. Investigations showed that Chia had made the post.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Sanjiv Vaswani told the court that even before the post, Chia had been conducting an online hate campaign against NEA officers since Dec 13, 2015.
Chia harboured grievances against NEA officers because he had been fined a decade ago for throwing a cigarette butt in a drain. He also admitted to setting up the Facebook page “Cigarette Butt Warriors”, which featured incendiary posts against NEA enforcement officers.
Chia’s lawyer Alfred Dodwell said his client was remorseful and very unlikely to re-offend. He added that Chia had withdrawn from social media and reformed.
An Institute of Mental Health psychiatrist had testified that Chia did not suffer from any mental illness. Private psychiatrist Y.C. Lim said Chia had a condition of “over-valued ideas”, which could evolve into delusions.