Our reader has sent the letter here to the Commissioner of the Singapore Police Force.
Dear Commissioner Hoong Wee Teck,
Today at about 1615hrs, I was unfairly stopped by the following policemen from Pasir Ris NPC who decided to conduct a “random” spot-check on me even though the HDB blocks there have Polcam CCTVs installed.
I was wearing a long-sleeve t-shirt, jeans, and a baseball cap. Contrary to popular belief, wearing such clothing is not warm and actually protects one from the hot weather.
Unfortunately, I believe that such attire and my ugly face (read: a face that looks like a bad guy), have a tendency to make me become a victim of countless spot-checks throughout the years. There was a time that I was spot-checked twice in a day at two far-apart locations – one involved five police officers and the other three.
It does not take a rocket scientist to deduce that the police assumes that someone like me is wearing long-sleeves to hide tattoos. Well, in this case, the police is wrong because I don’t have any! I may look like a bad guy but I was a top student in Polytechnic, mind you.
What frustrates me about today’s spot-check is that these policemen were secretly tailing me as if I had committed an offence. I was not sitting down. I was not loitering around. I was not carrying any bag. I was walking for goodness sake. Therefore, what could be the motivation for them to choose me out of many other people that were in the vicinity?
What is more, Randy actually laid his hand on me to get my attention as he sneaked up behind me. I was very unhappy about it because as far as I know
– which I could be wrong – a policeman is not allowed to touch you unless they intend to arrest you. Throughout all the spot-checks that I was given the “privilege” to experience, no policeman has ever gotten my attention by
As you can check from his body camera, I was walking for a good 100m before he and his colleague stopped me. Instead of running up beside me or in front of me, he decided to just walk and tapped me on my shoulder?
I was informed that he tried calling out to me a few seconds before that and the excuse was that I was listening to music on my earpiece. That is not a valid reason because they had ample time to stop me at the void decks but they decided that it was best to stop me by the road side where motorists and people living at the opposite flat could see me? Do you have any idea how humiliating it was? They are the laziest policemen I have ever come acrossed.
Not only that, as soon as he stopped me, a police car driven by the third policeman suddenly appeared beside the road after having come from the opposite direction. It seemed that they made a concerted effort to chase me as if they were hoping to get lucky that I would turn out to be a criminal.
From Randy’s description of where he first saw me and my familiarity of the area, I could tell that the driver had to drive very fast so as to drive out from the parking lot, drove out to the main road, made several turns through THREE traffic junctions before catching up with me. It became obvious to me that they timed it so that all three of them will corner me. Moreover, since they did not care that traffic was obstructed by parking their car at the one-lane road, it sure felt like their motive to spot-check me was not a “random” one.
After all that effort and co-ordination, they have the cheeks to say that the spot-check was RANDOM? I am sure that they were just following orders to give that as a reason but I have a feeling that they were taught and instructed to practice profiling.
I am saddened that the Singapore Police Force has forgotten the message that they tried to send across through one of their TV commercials that they ran decades ago about educating the public not to judge a book by its cover.
And for that Sir, I blame it on you since you are the Police Commissioner. I blame you for making me depress and losing sleep from all those unwarranted, humiliating, and upsetting spot-checks and making it difficult for a guy-with-a-bad-guy-look like me to take a daytime walk at a non-secluded area.
Something is seriously wrong with your profiling methods and I know you will not do anything to change it!
P.S: It is obvious to me that the practice of pairing a Malay policeman with a Chinese policeman is to prevent victims of spot-checks from claiming racial-profiling.