Below is a letter posted in 3in1kopitiam blog. I am not sure if this is true and if found untrue I will remove it immediately. I just felt that I am seeing a child being raped in broad daylight. And I hope this is not true. It must not happen in my country, when a little girl of 11 is being handcuffed for a petty crime.
My 11 year old daughter was arrested and handcuffed for 2 hours today.
I, a Singapore born and raised Chinese citizen would like to apologise to the Singapore Government and all tax paying fellow citizens for my failure to teach my children enough about the folly of stealing
I am a night shift worker so I sleep in the day.
At 5 pm today, I woke up and discovered my younger 11 year old daughter missing. I asked the older 13 year girl but got evasive answers. After a half hour later, I panicked and called the Police. Ten minutes after the call, they called back to inform me that my daughter had been arrested for shoplifting at a Guardian Pharmacy store and that I have to bring the elder along as well to the NPC as she was involved. My queries for answers as to the circumstances under which she was arrested were curtly declined.
When I reached the NPC, I was horrified to see my daughter slumped over a table sleeping with her right hand cuffed to a railing on the wall. Sitting opposite her and typing a statement into the computer was a female uniformed Malay officer. I ascertained later she was one of two Malay arresting officers. Having been an SC before, I understand police procedures but had never seen the lack of discretion when it comes to minors as I was witnessing in my daughter's case. That female Malay officer made no eye contact with me at all for the entire duration I was in the station. Not even when she in the report room where I was.
I vented my anger at the officers present about the necessity of handcuffing my daughter leaving her in such a torturous physical position to endure despite the fact that she was already in Police custody. I told them that as a minor, she is not going to be charged for her first offence. What purpose does it serve with regard to procedural safety? That she will snatch their revolvers and turn it against them? Why subject her to the same treatment for adults committing more serious crimes?
A Malay SSSgt led me into an adjoining interview room and gave me a summary account of my daughter's arrest. He told me he will get my elder daughter's statement expedited so that we can go home as soon as possible.
I went outside for a smoke to help calm myself down before returning. I saw then that the handcuffs on my daughter were removed. She was released for her elder sister's turn to be interviewed and for a police statement to be made. I checked her wrists and discovered abrasions on both her wrists and a contact burn mark in one. I took photographs on the spot. Earlier on, I had taken a photo while she was handcuffed to the wall railing. I want to have it printed, framed and mounted in our home so that they will never forget this episode.
I was allowed to bring my younger daughter out for a quick dinner. When we returned the elder daughter had just finished her statement. She was not handcuffed. We left the NPC after I had signed both their bail bonds. We have to return to the Police Div HQ at a later date.
I took my daughter to a hospital emergency department to have her wounds attended.
Back home, I interrogated my children and found that it was the elder sister who has a compulsive obsession with makeup products, instigated the younger to pilfer that $11.90 pair of lipstick. My younger daughter has a timid temperament and is very vulnerable to suggestions. She is still undergoing counselling in school after she slashed herself from elbow to wrist not too long ago when she was ten years old after constant bullying in school.
When they were spotted they ran and escaped but the younger, out of a sense of guilt returned to surrender the stolen item to the Malay shop assistant who detained her and called the Police.
I share this story with all because I fervently hope that parents will not have to undergo the same turmoil in my heart that I feel now and that they will use my children as an example on the consequences of stealing and getting caught eventually.
Once again, let me express the deep remorse I feel for the shame I had brought to the Singaporean Chinese community through my less than adequate nurturing of my children's absorption of good moral values.
I also like to thank the Malay shop assistant who detained my child when she tried to return the stolen item and Guardian Pharmacy's strict non-negotiable policy to deter shoplifting and the teaching of a good lesson.
Lastly, I would like to thank the Singapore Police Force and the Government for the benefit of the experience my child had gone through, that benevolence which I hope my child would repay with interest when she grows up into adulthood. She don't have a passport, she can't flee the country and not return. So please do not worry.
Peace be upon all.