File image of a Singapore flag
File image of a Singapore flag. Representative image. Photo: Reuters

While the country is preparing for the National Day, which is on Friday, August 9, a Singapore resident, aged 25, was arrested for burning the national flag recently and appeared for the court hearing via video link on Thursday.

On Sunday, August 4, the accused Elson Ong Yong Liang said to have used a lighter to burn the national flag, which was hanging inside a common corridor on the 13th storey of Block 774 Woodlands Crescent between 6 am and 6.15 am.

The fire also damaged seven other state flags which were vertically tied together across the seven floors along with the Singapore flag.

Police said in a statement on Wednesday, August 7 that they were alerted to the case at around 12.40 pm on Sunday. When they investigated the case the officials from Woodlands Police Division identified the alleged criminal by using closed-circuit television images and then arrested him on Wednesday.

During the court hearing, the District Judge Terence Tay denied bail request and remanded him to the custody of Woodlands Police Division. The case will resume after August 15.

If the court finds the man guilty, he could face a jail term of up to seven years, including a fine.

In another incident, Choa Chu Kang Town council lodged a police complaint after a resident noticed the Chinese flag at Block 489B, Choa Chu Kang Avenue 5 on Wednesday. It was taken down soon.

But as per the National Emblems (Control of Display) Act, displaying any flag or national emblem that doesn't represent Singapore is considered an offence. It should be noted that if any member of the public is found guilty of flouting the rules, then the accused could face a jail term of up to six months, a fine up to $500 or both.