Man who commented about throwing egg at Minister Shanmugam claims it was a joke

Two men are being investigated.

Sulaiman Daud | March 26, 2019, 06:29 PM

The man who commented online that he wanted to throw an egg at Minister for Home Affairs and Law K. Shanmugam has said it was just a joke.

Edmund Zhong, a 20-year-old full-time national serviceman, told The Straits Times that he didn't intend to actually commit the act, nor did he have any ill intentions.

Zhong said: "I posted it just as a joke, based on the news on the Australian senator."

Egging Australian senators

He was referring to the incident where a 17-year-old boy named William Connolly cracked an egg on the head of Australian senator Fraser Anning.

Anning had earlier blamed Muslim immigrants for the terror attack by a white Australian man on two New Zealand mosques.

Zhong left a comment on a Channel NewsAsia Facebook post about the incident, saying "I wanna do that to K Shanmugam. I swear."

This led to a police report being lodged, which led to a police investigation.

Another man is also being investigated for allegedly providing details of Minister Shanmugam's meet-the-people session.

The police said: "The Police take such threats seriously, and will carry out investigations accordingly."

Free speech

Zhong said that his comment was made for no other reason than "entertainment", and to link it to the local context.

He added that the other man added fuel to the fire, and Zhong didn't know him.

According to ST, Zhong also said that he feels there's a bigger issue at stake:

"To be honest I don't feel much regret. I feel it's a matter of freedom of speech, and that we have a right to voice such opinions."

Egging in a political context is not unfamiliar to Western audiences.

British politician Jeremy Corbyn was egged by a Brexit supporter in March, while French President Emmanuel Macron had an egg thrown at him during his campaign in 2017.

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Top image from Edmund Zhong's Facebook page and world_record_eeegggsss on Instagram.