SINGAPORE: A man on a bicycle twice charged into the crowd gathered around presidential candidate Ng Kok Song at Clementi Central on Tuesday, shouting obscenities and gesticulating menacingly.
“The incident occurred near Clementi Mall around 7 pm while Mr Ng was on a walkabout, just three days before the polling day of the Presidential Election 2023. Fortunately, no injuries were reported, according to a statement from the candidate’s team.
Mr Ng, at the time, was captured in photographs alongside his fiancée, Sybil Lau, and several members of the public.
He had wrapped up a media interview and had been addressing the residents for about half an hour when the agitated man, donning a red T-shirt, emerged near the mall’s fountains and charged into the throng.
Charles Ng, the younger sibling of the presidential hopeful, intervened, placing himself between his elder brother and the belligerent man, gesturing for him to leave and highlighting the disruption he was causing.
Ignoring the pleas, the intruder demanded that Mr Ng “go home” and hurled profanities. The situation led the campaign team to momentarily suspend the photo-taking activity.
Although the man momentarily retreated, he made a second appearance, forcing Mr Ng and his team to divert towards Clementi Mall in an attempt to steer clear of potential harm.
The crowd, most of whom were supporters of Mr Ng, pursued the intruder who, intriguingly, yelled out the name “Tan Kin Lian” several times before making his exit.
The police, notified of the incident, arrived approximately 15 minutes later. While Mr Ng’s team clarified that they had not lodged an official report, they acknowledged a concerned citizen who took the initiative.
Charles Ng, addressing the media as they awaited police, underscored the paramount importance of public safety. He elucidated that relocating Mr Ng was a measure to de-escalate the escalating tension.
While the evening’s schedule initially directed Mr Ng towards Clementi 448 Market and Food Centre post his media interaction, this plan was derailed by eager supporters yearning for photographs.
The incident took another twist when questions arose linking the aggressive cyclist to another presidential candidate, Tan Kin Lian. In a statement addressing the CNA’s inquiries, Mr Tan claimed ignorance of the man’s identity and hinted at the advisability of Mr Ng filing a police report.
Mr Tan’s campaign further emphasized that if the disruptor was indeed a supporter, his actions were independent and unendorsed.
Netizens on CNA’s YouTube video criticised the intruder’s action and asked why the police did not intervene. They expressed their belief that the intruder would have been arrested on the night itself.