Every Sunday without fail and with a can of beer in his hand, this man can be seen sitting at a corner on a quiet pedestrian bridge casually watching people enjoying their Sunday picnic on a grassy field opposite.
It all seems so innocuous thought one Shin Min Daily News reader surnamed Huang.
That is until she noticed this man surreptitiously using a pair of binoculars to spy on those members of the public, consisting of mostly maids and foreign workers, enjoying their day off on this huge grassy field in Jurong East and behaving intimately at times.
This reader felt so disturbed that she decided to contact the evening daily to highlight this man’s behaviour.
“Every time I go back to my mother’s house on Sunday, I see this uncle sitting in the corner of the pedestrian overhead bridge, looking at the grass with his binoculars,” Huang, 50, told Shin Min Daily News yesterday (May 30).
Whenever someone walks past him, the man would quickly put his binoculars down, Huang described.
While she didn’t pay too much mind to him at first, it kept happening for a few months, and her suspicions kept growing.
It was obvious that the man was looking at both the maids and the foreign workers, Huang believed, and she felt that they deserve their privacy.
However, the man, when approached, said he had done nothing wrong.
“I’m not peeping,” the man said to a Shin Min Daily News reporter who went to the pedestrian bridge. “The grass field is a public space, what’s the problem?”
The man brushed off suggestions that he was peeping, saying that he was not “peeping into someone else’s home”.
While the latter may be true, Ray Louis, a criminal lawyer and managing director of Ray Louis Law Corporation, said that what that man was doing might constitute an offence.
“According to the Public Nuisance Act, if the offender knew their act would cause annoyance, it’s a possible offence,” Louis explained to AsiaOne.
Something like peeping would only be applicable if it were into a private location, like a toilet, Louis added.
On whether this man’s acts can be considered harassment, Louis said that would be hard to prove.
“Some people might believe it’s harassment, but it would have to be towards a particular person,” Louis said. “Secondly, it’s hard to tell if it’s actually at the person — if the maids move somewhere else, for example.”
The workers and maids told Shin Min that they were aware that they were being watched by the elderly man who, however, doesn’t turn up when it rains.
“If the maids aren’t there, neither is he,” Huang added, saying that this supports her belief that the uncle was just there to peep at the maids and workers.
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