A retired Singapore Polytechnic lecturer yesterday pleaded guilty to inciting violence, via a Facebook page he created while pretending to be someone else.
On the Act For Singapore (AFS) Facebook page he created in 2014 under the name "Emett Haqq", Tang Koon Huat posted racially offensive barbs calling on vigilantes to beat up a Briton who had been convicted earlier in a road rage incident.
On Jan 14 last year, Mr Alan Benjamin Maybury was given the maximum $5,000 fine for punching a teen driver. Later that day, Tang posted on the page that it was time to form a "Singaporean vigilante group to go to beat up troublesome" Caucasians in the drinking joints.
Tang, now 63 and retired, pleaded guilty yesterday to one of two charges of communicating an electronic record containing an incitement to violence on Jan 14 last year.
Mr Maybury, 35, had hit 19-year-old polytechnic student Lum Kwok Weng after an accident on Nov 30, 2014 around 1.30am.
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Mr Lum had lost control of his car on a bend along South Buona Vista Road, hitting a taxi head-on. Mr Maybury was on his way home with his wife in the taxi.
The former consultant, who had two glasses of champagne, got out, shouted at Mr Lum and punched him in the face.
Tang was angered that Mr Maybury was only given a fine.
After a report by a member of the public on Jan 19, police identified Tang to be "Emett Haqq" and arrested him on April 15.
Tang admitted he had created the AFS page because of his negative perceptions of foreigners and the declining population of "native Singaporeans".
Tang's lawyer Alfred Dodwell asked for time to prepare a submission on sentencing, arguing that the case would have aneffect on freedom of speech and postings on social media.
He is asking that a fine be imposed on his client, who is "extremely remorseful".
Deputy Public Prosecutor Sanjiv Vaswani is seeking a three-month sentence as a "starting point".
The case has been adjourned to May 16. The maximum penalty for the offence is five years' jail and a fine.
This article by The Straits Times was published in The New Paper, a free newspaper published by Singapore Press Holdings.