Singaporean man charged for boatless wakeboarding at War Memorial Park
A 24-year-old Singaporean man who allegedly wakeboarded at the Civilian War Memorial was charged in court yesterday for wilfully interfering with a national monument.
The Singapore Police Force and National Heritage Board said in a joint statement that Stephan Kovalkov was charged under Section 22 of the Preservation of Monuments Act.
On July 18, the police received a report on an incident of wakeboarding at the Civilian War Memorial.
Investigations revealed that on the night of July 17, Kovalkov had allegedly engaged in boatless wakeboarding there.
A 31-second clip of the alleged incident was widely shared on social media in July.
It shows Kovalkov adjusting his shoes before surfing across the water feature of the park in Beach Road.
He then performs a trick and hits his board against the side of the monument.
The offence of wilfully defacing, damaging or otherwise interfering with any national monument carries a fine not exceeding $30,000, or an imprisonment term not exceeding six months, or both. Investigations are ongoing against four others, aged between 18 and 24, who were allegedly involved in assisting the man with his act.
The police said they 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," said the agencies. The National Heritage Board added that it will continue to promote greater awareness and appreciation of Singapore's national monuments.