SINGAPORE: Unjustified attacks made against the police must be rebutted as they are a huge disservice to the officers who put their lives at risk every day to make Singapore, Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam said on Sunday (Dec 10), in a second post voicing his support for the police in their raids on illegal brothels.
Earlier on Saturday, Mr Shanmugam had written about the online criticism levelled against the police for multiple raids on brothels in the Rowell Road area, saying sympathy for victims of syndicates should not colour our views on what the police need to do.
His posts follow an online video made by a woman who had taken footage of the police during the raids, accusing them of excessive force, hurting the female sex workers, and having used the services of the women.
The post has since been removed.
“If she really believes these allegations, she should write in to lodge a complaint. I will direct an independent investigation. She should come forward and give credible evidence, and subject herself to being questioned as well,” Mr Shanmugam said in a Facebook post on Sunday evening.
“In many countries, unjustified attacks on Police have eventually led to the weakening of law enforcement. We do not intend to let that happen in Singapore,” he added.
In his Facebook post on Sunday, Mr Shanmugam also provided more details to the raids, saying there had been complaints about sex workers in the area and that a syndicate was seemingly in operation.
“Observations showed that there were lookouts deployed. And some of the sex workers appeared rather young. There was thus also the concern that the syndicate was exploiting underage youngsters,” Mr Shanmugam said.
In the raid on Dec 8, the police used force on doors that were locked, he said.
Some occupants tried to evade arrest, and one person injured himself while trying to escape.
In all, more than 20 persons, all foreigners, were arrested. Many were transgender sex workers. One 16-year-old underage male sex worker was also picked up.
Mr Shanmugam added that the police are concerned about human trafficking as well.
Addressing the online criticism made by the woman that the police “were wasting taxpayer money, terrorising women, Mr Shanmugam said: “Would she prefer that Police didn’t do anything? She would like the sex workers to continue soliciting for customers along the roads and bringing them into HDB estates among our families and children? What about the exploitation of underage youngsters?”
Police officers in Singapore are held to higher standards than the public, Mr Shanmugam continued. When they have done wrong, action is taken against them, openly and transparently, with no cover-ups, he emphasised.
“But equally, when unjustified attacks are made against the Police, they must be rebutted. Such attacks do a huge disservice to the men and women in blue who put their lives at risk every day to make Singapore safe for all of us,” he said.