33 year-old Tan Yeong Hong was sentenced to 15 months behind bars today after threatening to physically harm Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Facebook and assaulting 2 police officers sent to arrest him.
Angered that he could not meet Mr Lee in person at an Ang Mo Kio GRC meet the people’s session in June this year, Tan then wrote four threatening messages to Mr Lee: “Eh, you challenged me to visit your MPS but you are not here. I will find and stage an attack on you when I have information on your public appearances. You know who I am.” Tan also included his NRIC number and handphone number on the messages.
Police arrested Tan at his Hougang Avenue 1 home where a hostile Tan punched a policeman in the shoulder and elbowed another in the face before he was subdued. Police found weapons including a hammer, 2 choppers and several knives, along with a list of the Prime Minister’s upcoming appearances.
A psychiatric report from the Institute of Mental Health diagnosed Tan as suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.
According to the psychiatric report, Tan poses a high risk to people around him due to his condition, Deputy Public Prosecutor Andre Chong told the court. The Institute of Mental Health report found that Tan would look for “convenient targets” to direct violence against and this means anyone around Tan was a potential victim.
The report also stated that Tan was “sceptical of any treatment offered to him” and “does not appreciate the need for medication”. Tan would need at least a year of treatment to manage his schizophrenia and psychotic symptoms.
In sentencing Tan, District Judge Mathew Joseph said Tan’s “clear diagnosis” of paranoid schizophrenia and the fact that he poses a high risk to people around him need to be dealt with before he is released back into the community. The sentence of 15 months’ jail strikes a balance between deterrence and rehabilitation, the judge said.