Singapore

Thomas Chua, netizen criticised for FB post on Traffic Police officer, arrested for shoplifting

Thomas Chua, netizen criticised for FB post on Traffic Police officer, arrested for shoplifting
Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam had criticised Thomas Chua in a Facebook post on Saturday (June 3)
Published: 1:44 AM, June 5, 2017
Updated: 8:54 AM, June 5, 2017

SINGAPORE — A netizen who drew widespread criticisms for seemingly gloating about the death of a traffic police officer was arrested on Sunday (June 4) for allegedly shoplifting at a department store along Syed Alwi Road, the police said.

TODAY understands the department store is Mustafa Centre. According to the police, Mr Thomas Chua Poh Heng, 39 was seen behaving suspiciously by the shopping centre's in-house security officers in the early hours of Sunday.

When the security officers conducted a spot check outside the store, they found an unpaid item on him. They detained him before calling the police for assistance.

Mr Chua was then arrested at around 5.37am. The police said he is also under investigation for three other cases lodged against him since January this year.

He was out on bail at the time of his latest arrest.

The police did not say if they were investigating Mr Chua's widely criticised Facebook post about the Traffic Police officer, Staff Sergeant Nadzrie Matin, who was killed in the line of duty after an accident involving a van along Serangoon Road on Thursday. However, in response to media queries, a police spokesperson told TODAY that authorities "will remain professional and objective in our dealings with Mr Thomas Chua," despite his "hurtful and unfair remarks not only to our officers but to (SSG Nadzrie's) family and friends".

Mr Chua's remarks about SSG Nadzrie were also criticised by Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam on Saturday.

Mr Shanmugam posted a screen-capture of Mr Chua's Facebook post and wrote: "Thomas was gloating about Nadzrie’s death, because Nazdrie had given him a ticket!"

The minister added: “People like Thomas are sick in the head. No decency or any sense of right and wrong.

“You wonder what human decency people like Thomas have - to be so self-centred, smug and making nasty remarks about an officer who died doing his duty. While there is a completely distraught wife, grieving parents and family, and teammates who are crying.”

TODAY understands that Mr Chua has committed multiple traffic offences previously. However, contrary to his Facebook post which has since been taken down, he was never issued a summons by SSG Nadzrie.