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Man charged after allegedly wakeboarding at World War II memorial

Man charged after allegedly wakeboarding at World War II memorial

In this screengrab taken from a video posted on Facebook, a man was seen wakeboarding at the Civilian War Memorial, a national monument dedicated to the civilian victims of the Japanese Occupation. (Image: Facebook/Malvin Fang)

SINGAPORE: A 24-year-old Singaporean man was charged in court on Monday (Sep 13) after he was seen allegedly wakeboarding at a World War II memorial.

Stephan Kovalkov was charged with wilfully interfering with a national monument under the Preservation of Monuments Act. 

On Jul 18, the police received a report on an incident of wakeboarding at the War Memorial Park, said the police and the National Heritage Board (NHB) in a joint news release.

Investigations revealed that on Jul 17, 2021, a 24-year-old man had "allegedly engaged in boatless wakeboarding" at the Civilian War Memorial. 

Investigations are also ongoing against four other people, aged between 18 and 24, who were allegedly involved in assisting the man with his act. 

"The police do not condone acts that deface, damage or interfere with National Monuments and perpetrators will be dealt with firmly, in accordance with the law," said the authorities. 

For wilfully defacing, damaging or otherwise interfering with any National Monument, offenders may be fined up to S$30,000, jailed up to six months, or both. 

In a Facebook video, the man was seen tying a wakeboard to his shoes before wakeboarding across the pool. He also attempted a trick by slamming his board against the memorial. 

The Civilian War Memorial, a National Monument, is dedicated to the civilian victims of the Japanese Occupation. 

"National Monuments are important markers of our identity and highlight key milestones in Singapore’s history. 

"Due respect must be accorded to our National Monuments, in particular war memorials, and all acts of disrespect are unacceptable," said the police and NHB. 

Source: CNA/lk(rw)

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