SINGAPORE — A 24-year-old Singaporean man was charged on Monday (13 September) after he was recorded wakeboarding at the War Memorial Park in July.
Stephan Kovalkov was handed one charge of wilfully interfering with a national monument. His charge sheet states that he engaged "the boatless wakeboarding at the Civilian War Memorial", which is at Beach Road, at about 10.10pm on 17 July. The alleged offence constitutes a breach of the Preservation of Monuments Act.
The Singapore Police Force said in a press release that four others, aged between 18 and 24, are also being investigated for allegedly assisting Kovalkov in the act.
The police received a report over the incident on 18 July. A 31-second video clip, posted on Facebook on 17 July, captured a male individual wearing a helmet attaching a board to his feet while at the edge of a pool surrounding the iconic four pillars at the park. He then pulls a rope and wakeboards through the pool, jumping against a wall at one point.
The SPF said, "The police do not condone acts that deface, damage or interfere with National Monuments and perpetrators will be dealt with firmly, in accordance with the law."
"National Monuments are important markers of our identity and highlight key milestones in Singapore’s history. The Civilian War Memorial, a National Monument, is dedicated to the civilian victims of the Japanese Occupation. Due respect must be accorded to our National Monuments, in particular war memorials, and all acts of disrespect are unacceptable. The National Heritage Board will continue to promote greater awareness and appreciation of our National Monuments."
If convicted of wilfully defacing, damaging or otherwise interfering with any National Monument, Kovalkov may be jailed up to six months, or fined up to $30,000, or both.
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