Ex-Cheers’ staff, 29, charged with verbally abusing police officer at Lau Pa Sat outlet

He is also charged for publishing the identity of the police officer online.

Fiona Tan | October 18, 2023, 02:05 PM



The man involved in a dispute with the police at the Cheers outlet at Lau Pa Sat on Jan. 1, 2023, was charged on Oct. 18, 2023, with verbally abusing a police officer and publishing the identity of a police officer, amongst others.

The 29-year-old Jonathan Ong Jun Jie, who was working at the convenience store at the time of the incident, recorded his exchange with the police and uploaded videos related to the incident on the @confederateginger TikTok account.

Ong was dismissed after the videos went viral.

SPF details what happened

According to a Singapore Police Force (SPF) news release reported by CNA and The Straits Times, the police were alerted to a dispute between Ong and a customer at a Cheers store along Raffles Quay at 8:10pm on Jan. 1, 2023.

SPF's investigations revealed that Ong had insulted the customer.

Ong was allegedly uncooperative and reluctant to provide his particulars to the police officers attending the incident.

SPF stated that Ong challenged the officers, who had asked to see his identity card, and used his mobile phone to take a video of the incident.

Ong then uploaded six videos on social media that purportedly identified the name of the police officer.

He also allegedly included captions that were "abusive and demeaning to the police officers".

Staff was fired

According to a Cheers' Facebook post on Jan. 4, 2023, Ong was fired following the Jan. 1, 2023 incident.

It added: "We require all staff to offer full co-operation and compliance with the authorities, and we do not tolerate acts from staff that undermine the authority of the police."

Did not attend police interviews

SPF stated that the police contacted Ong to ask him to come to a police station after the incident.

He was issued two written orders on Jan. 5, 2023 and Jan. 19, 2023 to go to the police station for police interviews on Jan. 11, 2023 and Jan. 31, 2023 respectively, but did not appear both times.

Does not intend to plead guilty

Chinese media Shin Min Daily News reported that Ong appeared in court wearing a black t-shirt on Oct. 18, 2023.

Ong was not represented in court.

He was handed the following charges:

  • One count of using abusive words towards a public servant;
  • One count of publishing the identity of the public servant to deter in the lawful discharge of his duties;
  • One count of using insulting words to cause harassment; and
  • Two counts of failure to attend in obedience to order from a public servant.

He stated that he does not intend to plead guilty and will be representing himself at trial.

When asked to hand over his passport, Ong stated in court that he could not leave the country as his passport had expired 10 years ago.

Shin Min reported that the judge ordered Ong to hand over his passport to the investigating officer, who would verify its validity with the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority.

Pre-trial conference Nov. 17, 2023

The pre-trial conference is scheduled for Nov. 17, 2023.

If convicted of using abusive words towards a public servant, the man can be jailed for up to 12 months, fined up to S$5,000, or both.

The punishment for publishing the identity of the public servant is the same as using abusive words towards a public servant if convicted.

If convicted of using insulting words to cause harassment, the man can be jailed for up to six months, fined up to S$5,000, or both.

If convicted of failing to attend a police interview, the man can be jailed for up to one month, fined up to S$1,500, or both.

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Top image via and from @confederateginger/TikTok