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Anti-vax group leader sorry for asking people to flood public hotlines

She says asking people to flood public hotlines 'for no genuine reason is definitely wrong'

The founder of an anti-vaccine group that discourages people from getting Covid-19 jabs has apologised for having asked followers to flood public hotlines with calls.

In a Facebook post on Monday, Ms Iris Koh, founder of Telegram group Healing the Divide, said that asking people to flood the call centres "for no genuine reason is definitely wrong".

"I would like to seek everyone's understanding and please forgive me if I did not handle this matter properly," she added.

She said she had made the comment on Oct 11, days before the introduction of vaccination-differentiated safe management measures that would bar unvaccinated people from dining at hawker centres and coffee shops.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) had said on Oct 9 that the use of these measures was aimed at protecting unvaccinated individuals in the community and reducing the strain on the healthcare system.

On Monday, Ms Koh confirmed that she was assisting the police in investigations.

The police had said last Thursday that they were investigating two people for allegedly instigating others to call and overwhelm public hotlines, including those that help the public with Covid-19 issues.

The Straits Times understands that the two are Ms Koh, 45, and Mr Raymond Ng, 48.

The police said messages sent by the couple had urged the public to call the MOH hotline, the Ministry of Social and Family Development hotline and the National Care Hotline, and to demand that their feedback be forwarded to the respective call centre managers.

If found guilty of obstructing public servants' duties, the couple face a jail term of up to three months, a fine of up to $2,500, or both.

Abetting the commission of such an offence by the public in general, or by any number of people exceeding 10, is punishable with a jail term of up to five years, a fine, or both.

- THE STRAITS TIMES

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