Netizens are sharing rumours in Whatsapp about an ongoing turf war between rival gangs in Singapore. The chatter first appeared on the messaging platform yesterday evening (Aug 24).
One anonymous netizen even shared a video of what seems to be a large gathering of individuals. A photo of a bloodied man who was allegedly beaten to a pulp can be seen in the video.
According to Twitter user Amirul Ashraf Iyun, the individuals in the video are actually part of a Malay performance arts group who were gathered for a debriefing after a training session that evening. The man allegedly beaten by a gang assault was actually a victim of a motorcycle accident.
Here’s a video of the group performance. No knife-fighting here:
Gang turf war or not?
The rumours were apparently triggered by Whatsapp posts claiming that members of a secret society called “Omega” wanting to “conquer the underworld” and are going around “whacking all Malays”, from Teck Whye to Yishun, Woodlands and Tampines.
The name Omega, according to online vigilantes SMRT Feedback, is an acronym for “Orang Melayu (Malay people) Enter Gangster Area”. It was a gang set up in the late 80s exclusively for Malays and was involved in serious crimes such as drug trafficking, illegal moneylending and prostitution.
Screenshots of Whatsapp posts even claimed that members of Omega are sexually assaulting girls:
The rumours at the time of publishing are unsubstantiated.
The police have clarified the situation:
[POLICE INVESTIGATING FALSE INFORMATION ON GANG ACTIVITIES]The Police are aware of text messages and videos that have…
“The Police are aware of text messages and videos that have been circulating purportedly about fights between various gangs in different parts of Singapore and advising the public to stay away to remain safe. Some of the text messages even alleged that gang members would beat up those who refuse to join their gang.
The Police would like to assure members of the public that the information being spread through these text messages and videos is false. The Police have verified that none of the alleged incidents had occurred.
Members of the public are advised not to spread these untruths which cause unnecessary public alarm.
The Police will not hesitate to take action against any person responsible for the deliberate generation and spread of such untruths which can create fear and alarm to the public.
Anyone with information on the person(s) who had generated and spread this false information should call the Police Hotline at 1800-255-0000 or submit information online via www.police.gov.sg/iwitness. All information will be kept strictly confidential.
Under Section 4(2) of the Protection from Harassment Act, anyone found guilty of causing harassment, alarm or distress shall be liable to a fine not exceeding $5,000. Under Section 147 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224, anyone convicted for the offence of rioting shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to caning.
Police investigations are ongoing.”