Ride of a lifetime. I got send to home by police car. Mata asked me is it my first experience…. I replied if u give me my phone back I would take a selfie. So, a PPP GE2015 candidate made police report against me for breaching Bukit Batok By-election Cooling Off day rules. In question was 2 post I posted on polling day.
My ordeal started on Tuesday, 14 Jun. I was on a one day leisure trip to Johor with a group of friends. After one day of fun, on the way home on 15 Jun midnight, we were delayed at ICA Woodlands checkpoint. After 15 mins, we were not cleared. Eventually we were instructed to park at the admin building where I was questioned. My finger prints of both thumbs were scanned. My friends’ particular and contact number were noted down. We were allowed on our way after all information was taken.
The ICA Officer could not tell me why I am detained. All they told me was to call the IO, but I hv no idea which IO. The next morning, on Wednesday I called 999 to find out who am I supposed to call. The call centre lodged a report and ask me to wait for someone to get back. An hour or so later, an officer called me to informed me he has contacted the IO, and I am to wait for a call from him. No call came. Until Wednesday nite. I was at Dad. The call was from my Brother whom I am staying with. 2 inspectors are at my place looking for me. I offered to go back but was told to stay where I am, they are coming for me instead. After 30 mins, the inspectors arrived at my dad, I was served a letter to present myself to Cantonment on Friday 17 Jun 10am.
My dad and my other Brother staying with dad were naturally shocked. On Friday morning, a friend drove me to Cantonment. I had a banana for breakfast. After reading online account about cold room treatment, I dressed myself in jean and a jacket. I reached Cantonment 20mins to 10am. Exchanged IC for a visitor pass and met the Senior Inspector conducting the interview, who was one of the inspector who served me the letter, at 10am. Before we started I am asked to switch off my phone and ipad.
The inspector enquired if I need to relieve myself, drink or some biscuit. I declined. The inspector reminded me to inform him at anytime if I needed a break. Then the interview started. The interview lasted abt 3 hours followed by 2 hrs to raid my residence and my dad’s home to collect my electronic devices. Throughout, I regretted wearing jeans and jacket. It’s getting too warm, air con no power one. During the interview, I am asked a number of questions. I answer them as best as I could. When I cannot recall, I ask the IO to allow me to switch on my phone to double confirm. Every time after I got the info I needed, the inspector requested that I switch my device off again. This happened several time.
During the entire process, the IO asked regularly if I needed toilet break or food & drink. I told him, I am rather stressed, I hv no appetite. But after talking for 2 hrs, I asked for water, was promptly provided with a bottle of mineral water. After my statement was taken, the IO read out the 12 pages statement back to me. Thereafter, Someone came to take the laptop out to hv the statement printed because the ethernet network was not working properly. The IO asked if I hv any objections, I hv none. After it was printed out and I read through page by page followed by counter signing every pages after all correction were made to my satisfaction.
By the time we finished, it’s abt 1pm. I was making plans to meet friends in the vicinity for lunch. Then the next bombshell dropped. The inspector informed me the case is arrestable one. Although I am not arrested, they are required by procedure to seize all my electronics devices. My handphone and ipad is taken from me. They asked me for the passcode and pin to unlock the devices. There is no point protesting, better for them to gain access the easy way then for them to tear the devices apart to gain access which may delay its return to me. So I provided the passcode without protest. I am asked to sign on several stickers which the officers pasted over all the ports of the devices to seal it for the forensic team.
Then I am issued an invoice recording what was seized from me. How long before I can hv them back? Answer given was no idea. Sigh. I thought I would be on my way now. But no, the ordeal is not over yet. Not so lucky. The inspector called his team to get ready. I am informed they are escorting me to my residences to pick up my laptops. First to my place, then to my dad’s. I asked to called my friend to cancel the lunch plan, my request was denied.
Before we were on our way, I asked for toilet break. The inspector escorted me to the toilet, while another officer took my visitors pass to retrieve my IC. While using the toilet, the inspector is also present in the toilet behind me. So now we are on our way. 2 ladies officer and 2 male officers; 1 driver, 1 Photographer, 1 IT specialist & the IO who did the interview.
When we reached my place, only my Nephew was at home. The inspector directed me to show him where my laptop is. It was in my room. I was ask if I hv any external hard disk, I promptly took it out from the pile of items it was covered Under. Photo was taken of my block, my main door, my room and the laptop & harddisk. I am asked to sign on the stickers again and I witness them sealing the equipments. Again another invoice was issued to me. All done in 10 mins or so. The IO asked me whose laptop was it he saw in the living room, I told him it belong to my sister in law who are not at home. He asked if I used it? No I do not. Before we proceed to my dad’s I ask the IO for permission to ask my Nephew to call my elderly dad. I don’t want to give him another shock.
After some consideration, the IO gave his permission. When we reached my dad’s my Brother, being the protective big Brother rush out from his room to confront the officers. Who are u? Why r u here? Police so what? Sensing it might escalate, I told my Brother it’s okay, they just want to take my laptop. No point confronting the officers, it can only delay the inevitable and escalate the situation was my reasoning.
So the officers took photo of my dad’s block, the living room and the laptop they seized. I signed the stickers again, and witness the sealing of the equipment. I am issued the third invoice. The officers are in and out in 10 mins again. The ordeal finally ends at 3pm. I managed to keep my next appointment, tuition with my Niece at 4pm. Dad tabao a packet of Hokkien mee to share with me before tuition. My first meal for the day since the banana in the morning.
While in the mata chia to my place, I asked the IO if I am allowed to get a new phone and hv the telco issue me a new SIM card for my phone number. He said yes. So after tuition, I got my replacement phone.