The Police said in a statement that they are investigating a 48-year-old man and a 45-year-old woman for their alleged involvement in instigating others to call and overwhelm public hotlines which, among other services provided, help the public with COVID-19 issues. They are Iris Koh and her husband, Raymond Ng. Iris Koh is the founder of the group called Healing The Divide.
On the morning of 11 October 2021, the group sent out a call to action to its followers on Telegram to give their feedback to the government on the new Covid measures announced last week.
The Police said they received a report on 18 October 2021, alleging that Iris Koh and her husband, Raymond Ng had incited more than 2,000 members in a Telegram group to overwhelm public hotlines through sharing their feedback on the stricter COVID-19 measures for unvaccinated people in public places.
The message purportedly claimed that the Government was seeking “nationwide ground feedback on the new measures”. It urged members to call the hotlines at MOH Quality Service and Feedback, National Care, and Ministry of Social and Family Development and to demand that their feedback gets pushed up to the respective call centre managers.
But these are not hotlines set up by the government for receiving feedback on its recent Covid measures. They are hotlines meant for people to call when they need help.
The MOH COVID-19 hotline (tel: 1800-333-9999) handles general queries related to COVID-19, including requests for help on vaccination, conveyancing to care facilities, medical needs of people under recovery, hospital visitation, and financial assistance.
The MSF Hotline (tel: 1800-111-2222) is a consolidated hotline for members of the public to call if they need financial assistance, divorce support, support for destitute persons and child protective services, to name a few.
The National CARE Hotline (tel: 1800-202-6868) was set up by MSF and MOH in 2020, at the start of the Circuit Breaker, to provide crucial psychological first aid and emotional support to those who have been affected by COVID-19. Callers who require further psychological help are referred to public healthcare institutions or community service providers for follow-up.
These public hotlines are important channels for Singaporeans to seek help, and a surge in needless and malicious calls will lengthen waiting times and frustrate genuine callers. In some cases, such calls may also prevent those in need from receiving timely critical assistance.
The members were also encouraged to call the hotlines again the following day, to seek feedback on the calls they had made earlier.
Why deprive legitimate users from reaching these hotlines? The government did not set up any call to seek nationwide ground feedback as claimed by the group.
In a video sent to the Telegram group on Thursday, Ms Koh said that she refused to hand over her mobile phone to the police because she is “suing the government for crimes against humanity” and if they were to take any of her devices, they would be “obstructing justice”.
Interestingly, multiple police reports have been made by members of the public against Raymond Ng, Iris’ husband . He is accused of scamming franchisees through coffee-blockchain enterprise Vendshare Pte Ltd.
You can read it here: https://www.ricemedia.co/current-affairs-features-singaporeans-lost-money-financial-scheme-vendshare-raymond-ng/
Members donating money to Healing The Divide
Members were persuaded to donate their money to Iris Koh’s Healing the Divide.
They’ve been told their money will fund anti-vaxx members to take their employers in court, and to reach out to victims injured during vaccination.
They’re also told that the donations will go through Ikibook Ltd, a “not-for-profit social enterprise”.
Ikibook Ltd is a company that’s founded by Iris Koh. This means the money donated to the group will go through the company founded by Iris Koh.
Ikibook Ltd is registered under ACRA with a primary industry classification of “Production of Live Theatrical Presentations”. In what capacity is Ikibook handling donations from Healing The Divide?