Condo resident, who verbally abused security guard, makes police report against harassment
SINGAPORE — A police report against harassment was made by a condominium resident who was filmed abusing a security guard in a video that has gone viral.
In response to TODAY’s queries, the police confirmed that the report has been filed by the resident. A separate police report was made by the security guard.
In May, Parliament passed amendments to the Protection from Harassment Act, which made it a crime for online vigilantes to publish someone’s personal information with the intention to harass, threaten or facilitate violence — an act known as doxxing. It is unclear if the amended laws have come into force. TODAY has sent a query to the authorities.
The video was first posted last Saturday (Oct 26) morning. It showed the resident of Eight Riversuites — who identified himself as Ramesh and is understood to be a Singapore citizen — having a dispute with the security guard over a condominium rule requiring guests who arrive after 11pm to pay for parking.
Since then, the video has been reposted and commented upon by many online users, including some who dug up personal information about the resident, based on his now-defunct LinkedIn profile, for example.
Many slammed his behaviour, while others called on his company, JP Morgan, to fire him. A petition urging the multinational investment bank to do so has gathered more than 18,000 signatures as of 10pm on Tuesday.
Lawyers interviewed by TODAY noted that, to date, there has not been a conviction under the recently amended laws regarding doxxing. There is thus some ambiguity over how the new laws will play out, they added.
On whether an offence could potentially be committed by online users who put up the resident’s personal information, it may boil down to whether it could be proven that they had intended to cause distress or harassment to the resident, the lawyers said.
Mr Nichol Yeo of law firm Solitaire and Mr Joel Ng of Quahe Woo & Palmer said that it is irrelevant whether the information was culled from public sources, such as public social media accounts — although Mr Amolat Singh of Amolat and Partners said that this could be used as a defence.
Mr Ng said that in this case, some of the online comments aimed at the resident could be interpreted as a form of harassment.
The petition to sack him could also constitute intention to cause distress or harassment, Mr Yeo said. He added that the concept of “vigilante justice” contained elements of intention to cause distress or harassment.
JP Morgan said on Sunday that it is looking into the matter as its employee was purportedly involved.
On Tuesday, an email — signed off by JP Morgan Singapore;s senior country officer Edmund Lee — was sent to all employees in the Singapore office.
The internal note, which was seen by TODAY, told staff members that they are “expected to demonstrate the highest standards, including respect and dignity for others, in our behaviour and actions inside and outside of the workplace”.
It also reminded the employees that all of them have a “shared responsibility for preserving and building” on the company’s “strong reputation”. The email, however, made no specific reference to the incident or the resident in question.