New Naratif's managing director PJ Thum claimed that the police seized his laptop earlier today on Sep. 21, 2020, and was allegedly "interrogated" for more than four hours.
This incident is likely linked to a recent report lodged against New Naratif by the Elections Department (ELD).
The police report concerned the alleged publication of unauthorised paid advertisements during the recent General Election 2020 (GE2020).
The ELD said that these advertisements amounted to illegal conduct of election activity, as the conduct of any election activity requires prior written authority signed by a candidate or his election agent, under the Parliamentary Elections Act.
Thum claimed that this was an abuse of the law
According to a post on New Naratif's Facebook page, which was published at 3:54pm, Thum was taken to his home by the police, where they allegedly seized his laptop.
In a follow-up video uploaded at 5:34pm, Thum assured his followers that he is "safe and okay", and that he was released by the police.He said it was not a "pleasant experience", claiming that he was "interrogated" for more than four hours.
Thum also claimed that the police seized his phone, and escorted him back to his home, where they took his laptop.
He also alleged that this was "an abuse of the law".
Thum urged the ELD to drop their police report against him, and also urged the government to "stop harassing" independent media and critics of the government.
In the same Facebook post, New Naratif also asked supporters to donate to their website, and included a link for them to do so.
The Singapore Police Force (SPF) told Mothership that this was a scheduled police interview, as part of police investigations for alleged breaches of the Parliamentary Elections Act.
“In response to media queries, the Police confirm that Mr Thum Ping Tjin attended a scheduled police interview at Clementi Police Division on 21 September 2020. As part of police investigations into New Naratif for alleged breaches of the Parliamentary Elections Act, Mr Thum’s mobile phone and laptop were seized for forensic examination.”
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Top image via New Naratif/FB.