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Man who threw LGBTQ pride flag at eatery owner in Lau Pa Sat gets 24-month conditional warning

SINGAPORE — A man who threw a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) pride flag displayed at a Lau Pa Sat eatery at its owner out of anger has been given a 24-month conditional warning.

Man who threw LGBTQ pride flag at eatery owner in Lau Pa Sat gets 24-month conditional warning

Images from surveillance footage uploaded by grain bowl stall SMOL at Lau Pa Sat food centre showed a man getting upset over an LGBTQ pride flag that was displayed there.

SINGAPORE — A man who threw a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) pride flag at the owner of a Lau Pa Sat eatery out of anger has been given a 24-month conditional warning.

Revealing this in a written parliamentary reply on Tuesday (July 6), Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam said that the police did not recommend prosecution for the 47-year-old man because the man did not cause any injuries and the incident in January was “not protracted”.

Besides, the man had a medical history of mental disorder, which may explain in part his actions in the case, Mr Shanmugam added.

The Attorney-General’s Chambers concurred with the police’s decision, he pointed out, adding that the conditional warning was for an offence of intentionally causing harassment, alarm or distress under Section 3(2) of the Protection from Harassment Act.

Mr Shanmugam was answering a question by Non-Constituency Member of Parliament Leong Mun Wai, from the Progress Singapore Party, who asked for an update of the case and whether more steps will be taken to deal with such incidents of abuse due to discrimination.

Earlier this year,  CCTV footage of the incident went viral after it was uploaded by the eatery, grain bowl stall SMOL, which has a branch at Lau Pa Sat food centre in the Central Business District.

It showed a man ripping off the flag that was displayed on the eatery’s counter and throwing it towards its owner Charmaine Low, before accusing her and her staff members of “destroying Singapore”.

Before the encounter, the man had asked the woman what the flag was about and reprimanded her after finding out that it was to show support for the LGBTQ community.

In his reply, Mr Shanmugam stressed that the Government’s position is “clear” that harassment and abuse of any person “for any reason” is not condoned.

“The law protects LGBTQ individuals the same as everyone else,” he said.

The Protection from Harassment Act contains a range of civil and criminal measures to protect all victims against offences involving harassment and abuse, he added.

Acts involving hurt or incitement of violence are also criminalised under legislation such as the Penal Code.

Furthermore, in 2019, amendments were made to the Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act to make it an offence to urge violence on the grounds of religion or religious belief, against any person or group, the minister said.

Related topics

LGBT harrassment mental health Smol Lau Pa Sat POHA

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