SINGAPORE: A man has taken his neighbours to court for various alleged acts of harassment, including placing large pots of stagnant water near his house that he claims created a risk of mosquitoes breeding.
Mr Samuel Tan Seng Kiat on Friday (Mar 17) launched a private prosecution against Mr Maurice Yeo Seh Kwang at the State Courts, bringing seven charges against him under the Protection from Harassment Act.
A woman named Ms Kang Chooi Heng is named as Mr Yeo’s co-accused in some of the charges. Mr Tan previously brought five charges against Ms Kang in February.
According to charge sheets, the alleged incidents happened along Ponggol Seventeenth Avenue, the location of Mr Tan’s house and Mr Yeo and Ms Kang’s house.
The earliest incident dates back to 2018, when Mr Yeo and Ms Kang allegedly installed a bright LED spotlight at their house and pointed it towards Mr Tan’s house.
This light has been switched on every night since it was installed, causing his family harassment, alarm and distress, claims Mr Tan.
From October 2020 to April 2022, Mr Yeo and Ms Kang are accused of spraying the pesticide Malathion in “mass volumes” about two to four times a week.
The pesticide was allegedly sprayed towards the food preparation area, laundry drying area and front door of Mr Tan’s house.
Mr Tan claims that this was done during lunch and dinner preparation times, and in the morning when children were going to school.
Ms Kang is further accused of “hosing pesticide-laced water” from her house towards Mr Tan’s house every morning during that period, subjecting his family to “the toxicity of the liquid”.
Mr Yeo and Ms Kang then allegedly installed two closed-circuit television cameras at their house to face Mr Tan’s house from May 2021. This kept his family “under surveillance”, Mr Tan claims.
From October 2021 to April 2022, Mr Yeo and Ms Kang allegedly left large pots of stagnant water outdoors on their property, within a metre of Mr Tan’s house.
This was done with intent to cause harassment, and it prevented his family from enjoying the outdoor space of their home in peace, Mr Tan claims in the charge.
Mr Tan also claims that on two occasions in 2022, Mr Yeo repeatedly made a “monkeyed high pitch noise” from his house and shouted an insulting word towards Mr Tan’s family members while they were at home.
On another occasion last year, Mr Yeo is accused of stalking Mr Tan’s daughter by following her from her house to a residential estate along Ponggol Seventeenth Avenue while holding gardening tools.
Mr Tan also claims that the defendants “ambushed” and made gestures at Mr Tan’s family members as they drove by a guard house. Mr Yeo allegedly did this twice last year, and Ms Kang on one occasion last year.
The case will be heard again on Mar 24.
A private prosecution is a criminal proceeding started by a private organisation or individual, according to the Singapore Courts.
Prosecutors must first file a magistrate’s complaint. Legal proceedings can start if the magistrate decides there is sufficient reason to proceed to private prosecution.