Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Sungei Road Flea market closure: Threatening letters sent to PM & DPM

Update 5 May 2017: 2 arrested for sending threatening letters, hell notes to PM Lee and other Govt leaders
2 arrested for sending threatening letters, hell notes to PM Lee and other Govt leaders

The police have arrested 2 suspects for allegedly sending threatening letters & hell notes to Government leaders, including PM Lee Hsien Loong and DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

A copy of the letter, which expressed anger over the decision to close the Sungei Road flea market on July 11, was also sent to a TODAY reporter last month.

The 2 suspects, aged 18 and 53, were arrested on Thursday (May 4). Several handwritten letters, mobile phones, laptop, envelopes and hell notes were seized following their arrest, the police said in a statement on Friday.

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Police probing threatening letters sent to PM, DPM over Sungei market closure
Hell notes are seen along with a letter addressed to PM Lee Hsien Loong & MPs

The police is investigating reports made in relation to threatening letters sent to Government leaders, including Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong & Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

Responding to media queries, the police confirmed that reports have been lodged." We are unable to comment further as investigations are ongoing," a police spokesperson said on Sat (Apr 29).

A copy of the handwritten letter, addressed to "PM Lee Hsien Loong & the other MPs" was also sent to TODAY, expressing anger that the Sungei Road flea market - which will be shut to make way for development from July 11 - will not be relocated.

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Threatening letter sent to DPM Tharman under the name of Sungei Road market's chairman
The police are investigating a threatening letter sent to DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam. FOTO: ST FILE

The police are investigating a threatening letter sent to Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam under the name of the chairman of the Sungei Road flea market’s association, The Straits Times (ST) understands.

“The police confirm that reports have been lodged. We are unable to comment further as investigations are ongoing,” the Singapore Police Force said in response to queries from The Straits Times.

ST understands that the letter, addressed to DPM Tharman, was written in English & had 2 hell notes attached to it.

related: Threatening letters, hell notes sent to ministers

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Sungei Road Market Chairman gets a midnight visit by police to investigate threatening letter sent DPM Tharman

Mr Koh Eng Khoon, chairman of the Association for the Recycling of Second Hand Goods who has been widely known in Singapore over the past few months of campaigning for the survival of the Sungei Road Second-hand Market, is being investigated by the police under the suspicion that he sent a threatening letter to Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

Midnight visit and ransacking of flat - According to Mr Koh, the police knocked on his door around midnight on 27 April (Thursday) to look for him. The police were in plainclothes and claimed to be from the Central Police Division. Initially speaking at the door as they presented no arrest or search warrant, the police officers asked if he sent a threatening letter to the DPM. He denied any knowledge of the matter

When Mr Koh asked to clarify on the letter, the police officers declined to reveal the content of the letter. But only noted that there were pieces of hell money sent along with the letter and that his name was on the letter.

related:
The midnight raid of Mr Koh Eng Khoon
CAN asks if gov harassing Chairman of flea market to intimidate others frm campaigning

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HUMAN RIGHTS NGO TELLS PAP GOVT TO STOP INTIMIDATING SUNGEI RD MARKET VENDORS

We are deeply concerned about the ongoing police investigation into a “threatening” letter allegedly written by the Chairman of the Association for the Recycling of Second Hand Goods at Sungei Road flea market, Mr Koh Eng Khoon.

According to media reports, the letter in question was sent to Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, and signed “Koh Eng Khoon (Friend)”. Police visited Mr Koh at his one room flat at around midnight on 28 April. They did not produce a warrant, but officers ransacked the apartment, took photos of Mr Koh, and confiscated his mobile phone as part of the investigation. The visit ended only at approximately one in the morning.

While we understand that all complaints from the public should be investigated, we question whether it was necessary to carry it out in such an intimidating, aggressive, and intrusive manner. This kind of action intensifies a climate of fear that deters frank discussion of public interest issues, and curbs citizens’ participation in matters which the government is not comfortable with.

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Sungei Road flea market chairman investigated by Police on case of death threats on Singapore Ministers

The Singapore Police Force have confirmed that they are investigating a threatening letter sent to Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam. The Police said that they are unable to comment further as investigations are ongoing.

The letter, written in English and signed-off by a person who called himself ‘Eng Khoon Koh’, had two hell notes attached to it. Mr Koh Eng Khoon is the chairman of the Association for the Recycling of Second Hand Goods. Mr Koh has started various grounds-up efforts on behalf of flea market stall holders in Sungei Road. The eight decades old flea market is slated to be demolished in June to make way for new development.

Today newspaper which said that it received a copy of the handwritten letter said that it was addressed to “PM Lee Hsien Loong and the other MPs” and expressed anger at the Government’s decision to redevelop the Sungei Road flea market area.

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Threatening letter with hell notes protesting closure of Sungei Road Market sent to PM and DPM

The writer signed off using the name of the Sungei Road market's president
It seems that someone has sent letters with a veiled threat to government leaders protesting the impending closure of the Sungei Road Market, popularly known as the Thieves Market.

For those who are not in the know, Sungei Road Market’s last day will be on July 10. The government does not intend to relocate the market despite petitions by vendors and other groups.

According to TODAY, the Police is currently investigating a case involving “threatening letters sent to Government leaders” such as Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

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Sungei Road’s Closing: This Guy Is Asking People To Express Their Anger

When an iconic landmark is going to be shut down by the authorities, there’s always discontent. Anger, even. For example, remember the outcry when it was announced that the old National Library on Stamford Road was going to be demolished.

It looks like the same anger is manifesting itself in response to what’s going to happen on July 11 — the flea market at Sungei Road will join our list of places gone forever when it is shut down for good.


Netizen Matthew Teo has found a slightly daring but harmless way to channel that anger, though, with his brave photo series of people showing the “middle finger” at Sungei Road. Here he is in the first shot.

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7 things you ought to know about Sungei Road market before it disappears

It's official - Singapore's oldest flea market in Sungei Road will close its final chapter on July 10, after eight decades of existence.

Once notoriously known as "Thieves Market" as stolen items were reportedly sold there, the open-air market will make way for residential and commercial developments.

Here are 7 things that you ought to know about this organically formed market before it disappears into the pages of history:
  • Singapore's last free hawking zone
  • About 200 vendors affected by closure
  • They operate rent-free
  • Some vendors sold illegal goods
  • Where 2 tycoons had their humble beginnings
  • It's also known as "Robinson Petang"
  • Go-to place for army overalls

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Sungei Road Thieves’ Market to shut for good
A vendor sits around on a slow weekday afternoon when foot traffic at the Thieves' Market is low. Foto: Ooi Boon Keong / TODAY

Bargain-hunters who enjoy shopping at the oldest & largest flea market here, popularly known as Thieves’ Market, will have until July 10 to do so.

Located between Jalan Besar & Rochor Canal Road, the flea market, which has been a venue where sellers have peddled 2nd-hand bric-a-brac since the 1930s, will shut for good on that day, with the site being needed for ground preparation works for future residential development use, a multi-agency statement said on Tuesday (Feb 14).

A unique hawking zone with a colourful, decades-long history, including a reputation as a spot for trading stolen, smuggled & illegal wares, Thieves’ Market had, in 2011, been shrunk in half to make way for the construction of the new Sungei Road MRT Station.

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The Forgoten Thieves Market 结霜桥

Located between Jalan Besar and Rochor Canal Road, the flea market at Sungei Road is Singapore’s largest and oldest flea market. While the exact origin of the flea market remains unclear, historical records have shown that the flea market began as a small trading spot that sprouted along the river during the mid 1930s.

In the past, the flea market operated between 3.00pm to 6.00pm and its operating hours could have resulted in its nickname "Robinson Petang" or "Robinson in the afternoon". The nickname was probably a tongue-in-cheek reference to the Robinson Department Store which catered to the more well-to-do in Singapore.

During the Japanese Occupation (1942 – 1945), the flea market at Sungei Road was very popular as many locals (especially the poor) would flock to the market to purchase cheap household items and other merchandise which were often in short supply.

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related:
Closure of Sungei Road "Thieves Market" or "Robinson Petang"
Sungei Road Flea market closure: Threatening letters sent to PM & DPM
Sungei Road Thieves’ Market to shut for good
The Forgoten Thieves Market 结霜桥