2 people investigated for allegedly instigating others to overwhelm public hotlines with calls

SINGAPORE: Two people are being investigated for their alleged involvement in instigating others to “call and overwhelm public hotlines”, stated the police on Thursday (Nov 25).

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The hotlines assist the public with COVID-19 points, amongst different companies supplied. They embrace the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) Quality Service/Feedback hotline, the Ministry of Social and Family Development’s (MSF) hotline and the National CARE Hotline.

On Oct 18, the police acquired a report alleging that a person and lady had incited greater than 2,000 members in a Telegram messaging group to overwhelm public hotlines by sharing their suggestions on the stricter COVID-19 measures for unvaccinated people in public locations.

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“The message purportedly claimed that the Government was seeking ‘nationwide ground feedback on the new measures’, and that the public should call in to the MOH hotline, the MSF hotline and the National CARE Hotline, and demand that their feedback gets pushed up to the respective call centre managers,” stated police.

“The members were also encouraged to call the hotlines again the following day, to seek feedback on the calls they had made earlier.”

As the alleged incitement to overwhelm public hotlines has the potential to impede the work of public servants, the police, in session with the Attorney-General’s Chambers, are investigating the 48-year-old man and 45-year-old lady for allegedly instigating people to achieve this.

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Anyone discovered responsible of obstructing public servants within the discharge of their public capabilities might be jailed for up to three months, fined up to S$2,500, or each.

Those discovered responsible of abetting the fee of such an offence by the public typically, or any variety of greater than 10 people, might be jailed for up to 5 years, fined, or each.

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The police stated it might not hesitate to take motion in opposition to irresponsible individuals who disrupt and overwhelm important name centre operations or encourage others to achieve this.

(*2*) stated the police. 

“In some cases, such calls may also prevent those in need from receiving timely critical assistance. Offenders will be dealt with firmly and severely in accordance with the law.”

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