SINGAPORE: A Singaporean boxer and social media influencer was summoned by an Investigation Officer to provide a statement at Bedok Police Station on Mon (Oct 30).
The reason for this summons was his act of displaying a Palestinian flag as he made his entrance for a boxing match that took place on Oct 28.
Allegedly, the boxing match aimed to raise funds for the fight against cancer, although the details and information about the fundraising program remain undisclosed.
The video capturing this incident was originally shared on the boxer’s Instagram story under the username shamrahman7.
Later, it was re-shared by the account wakeupinsingapore.
In the video footage, the man can be observed raising a Palestinian flag as he makes his way to the boxing ring.
He briefly walked around the boxing stage before the video transitioned to scenes of him participating in the boxing match, sporting a blue headgear.
Man called in to give a police statement for displaying a Palestine flag
In a separate video posted on Oct 30, shamrahman7 discussed the events following his recent boxing match.
He explained his reason for making the video, which was primarily to provide educational insight and discourage others from emulating his actions.
He explicitly stated, “This is a video to educate; I do not want anyone to follow what I did.”
In the video, he recounted having just left Bedok Police Station to provide a statement regarding his boxing match on Oct 28.
During his boxing match entrance, he had draped a Palestinian flag, an act that prompted the authorities to request his statement.
Describing the situation, he explained, “The IO just called me and asked me to come down to give a statement, although it wasn’t for anything that serious, as I had not incited hatred, violence, or any form of terrorism.”
He proceeded to emphasize that he aimed to inform people about the offence of displaying a foreign flag in Singapore.
Furthermore, he clarified the reason for his summon was prompted by the “intense and hostile situation that is happening right now,” alluding to the Gaza conflict.
He explained that the Singaporean government is deeply concerned about the safety and harmony within the country in the context of the ongoing global situation.
“They are just very concerned that acts like this might heighten emotions of anger and hate,” he said, which could potentially lead to protest.
Additionally, he shared his perspective on the Gaza conflict, suggesting alternative ways to show support.
“We can still show support, sharing the news, spreading awareness, ask people to donate,” he said, “but what we cannot do is to bring and wave the flag around,” he added.
He concluded by affirming that Singaporeans should adhere to the country’s laws, suggesting that if they desire to express support, it should be done in a subtle manner without conveying hatred or vulgarity.
Mixed reactions from online commentators
Reactions from commentators are mixed with some supporting him for his outward support for Palestine and some condemning him, dubbing him as an “attention seeker,” or that he is “clearly riding on the current trend.”
A Reddit user, seemingly confused, questioned why the boxer “need a police station trip to know all these?”
In response, another user replied that he might be doing a “damage control” now, as he found it hard to believe that the man hadn’t thought about the potential consequences while parading with the flag.
“…or maybe he is just testing his luck,” the user added.
A user from Instagram expressed the viewpoint that the man had “literally did nothing wrong,” and expressed a desire for him to continue supporting the “Free Palestine” movement.
In response, the boxer replied by saying, “Of course I won’t. But we have to be smart about it.”
Additionally, one user questioned the animosity aimed at the boxer for expressing support for a cause.
In response, another person articulated the distinction between advocating for Palestinians and endorsing Palestine.
They clarified, “I certainly do not support acts of terrorism from either side.”
However, they cautioned against disregarding the flaws within one’s own side solely due to a “shared faith,” noting that this “can lead to a dangerous consequences.”
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