Marsiling-Yew Tee Town Council said it didn’t report S&CC arrears to police to get woman arrested
This is not a recent incident.
The Marsiling-Yew Tee Town Council has come out to clarify that it did not lodge a police report that led to the arrest of a resident who did not pay her service and conservancy charges (S&CC) for months on end.
The town council put up a Facebook post on Tuesday, Jan. 21 to clarify the matter about how S&CC arrears led to the arrest of one of its residents.
This post by the town council was in response to an earlier Facebook post by activist Gilbert Goh on Sunday, Jan. 19 about the resident.
Did not turn up in court
The town council said the incident was the result of a court-issued warrant of arrest and it was issued in December 2016.
The resident was arrested after she failed to turn up for a mandated court hearing.
According to The Straits Times, the resident was arrested on Dec. 14, 2017, and held for 1.5 hours.
This duration of her detention as stated by the police is contrary to what was put up by Goh in his post.
Goh wrote that the resident was arrested at her office for not paying accumulated S&CC bills of S$2,150 and was held for 10 hours.
In his post, he also wrote that the woman is a single mother who works as a promoter.
What town council said
The town council clarified that the resident lives in a five-room flat and had owed S&CC for several years before 2016.
Attempts at engaging the resident were repeatedly made, the town council said, but it “had to undertake legal recourse”.
Why this was so, was elaborated by the town council.
The town council moved to prosecute the resident for the arrears under the Town Councils Act.
The post said the town council attempted to contact the resident with the aim of withdrawing the legal action.
This was to work out an instalment plan to settle the arrears.
By this time, a warrant of arrest had already been issued.
The town council said it sent six notifications to the resident by post between December 2016 and October 2017.
The resident was asked to contact the town council for an instalment plan.
House visits in August 2016 and November 2017 were also carried out to try and reach her.
Instalment plan signed
The resident eventually signed an instalment plan with the town council on Dec. 19, 2017.
She then made partial payment of the arrears.
This led to the immediate withdrawal of the court proceedings and the Warrant Enforcement Unit was updated on the same day.
The latest instalment plan made in November 2019 allowed the resident to “gradually pay off the arrears while keeping up with the current monthly payment”, the town council said.
The town council said it will work with grassroots partners to help her.
Failure to attend court can lead to arrest
ST reported that a warrant of arrest will be issued against a person if he fails to attend court.
The Warrant Enforcement Unit (WEU), a division of the Singapore Police Force, or the respective enforcement agencies for them will receive the warrant to execute it.
The police will arrest the individual, or the individual is to surrender himself or herself to the WEU.
Top photo via Gilbert Goh and TT Teo