SINGAPORE: The Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) on Tuesday (Jan 29) expressed "grave concerns" over an incident in which mail was found discarded in a rubbish bin in Ang Mo Kio.
Singapore Post (SingPost) had said earlier that a postman has been arrested over the incident.
"Under the Postal Services Act, it is an offence for any officer, employee or agent of a postal licensee to destroy or throw away any postal article or anything contained therein," said an IMDA spokesperson in a statement, adding that the authority is investigating the matter.
"IMDA will take appropriate action against anyone found guilty of contravening the Postal Services Act."
IMDA added that it will take firm action against SingPost for any breaches of its public postal licence requirements, noting the recent spate of service lapses by the national postal agency.
"IMDA takes a serious view of any incident that impacts the reliability, integrity and security of Singapore's public postal services," said the spokesperson.
"SingPost must investigate all complaints and feedback raised, and take urgent steps to improve its service standards and restore public confidence in its postal services."
IMDA's comments came after a postman serving areas in Ang Mo Kio was arrested.
Facebook user Alyce Kathlyn had alerted SingPost to the discarded mail. Her photos of unopened letters in a rubbish bin, including some from government agencies, have been circulating online.
In response to Channel NewsAsia's queries, SingPost said earlier on Tuesday that a team was immediately dispatched to comb the area.
The team located the rubbish bin and proceeded to "search every bin within the vicinity", but did not find the letters, it said.
"Letter boxes were also opened to check if these letters had been delivered to affected recipients," SingPost added.
The police confirmed on Tuesday that a report has been lodged, and that a 29-year-old man has been arrested. Investigations are ongoing.
Earlier in the year, SingPost apologised to its customers for the "service deterioration" that occurred over the "tremendously busy" November-December period. "It would be fair to state that we have failed to live up to expectations in recent times," it wrote online.
The apology came after complaints on social media about subpar service including undelivered letters, as well as forged signatures for packages.
Last February, a SingPost postman was fired after he threw away returned letters and direct mail at a condominium. The incident came to light when a video surfaced of a member of the public confronting the postman, who admitted to throwing the mail away.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect ongoing police investigations.