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Road runs out for bully

ENDANGERING OTHERS: A screengrab of one of the two videos of undergraduate Quek allegedly behaving aggressively on the road. Police confirmed that a 24-year-old man involved in the alleged road-bullying case had been arrested on Tuesday.


    Feb 14, 2014

    Road runs out for bully

    THE Honda Civic driver caught on video allegedly chasing two separate cars on the same day has been arrested.

    Police on Wednesday confirmed that a 24-year-old man involved in the alleged road-bullying case had been arrested on Tuesday and investigations are ongoing.

    On Feb 3, two videos of undergraduate Quek Zhen Hao, 24, allegedly behaving aggressively on the road went viral, turning him into an overnight focus of attention.

    He had allegedly tailgated, overtook and braked dangerously in front of two separate cars within hours on Jan 29.

    In the first video, he was also allegedly seen getting out of his vehicle to confront the other driver.

    The videos prompted anonymous Web users to post his parents' address and photos of his girlfriend online.

    In an interview last week, Mr Quek said he feared for his safety and that of his loved ones, as netizens made more than 10 online threats against him.

    He said: "(They) terrorised my family and girlfriend. They were asking secret societies to come and look for me.

    "They said they want to damage the car and find my girlfriend's address. They also made dirty comments about her.

    "I want Singaporeans to stop taking aim at my family and my girlfriend because I am truly sorry for this incident and for endangering others."

    He also said he was ready to accept any punishment that the authorities may mete out to him, but said his family should not be dragged into the matter.

    He also posted an apology video during the week, hoping to quell the online storm.

    But the YouTube apology did not appease netizens. Scripted, lengthy and insincere, some said.

    International communications strategist and social media expert Lars Voedisch said in a TNP report on Feb 7 that Mr Quek's apology was probably written beforehand and the video was too long.

    The 40-year-old said: "Was he sincere? Well, to a certain extent.

    "He apologised for his actions rightly. But he victimises himself in the video too heavily as well."

    Criminal lawyer Rajan Supramaniam, who has been in practice for 14 years, said that Mr Quek's arrest within a week of the videos surfacing was "very fast".

    Police probably had to respond swiftly as members of the public were raising the issue everywhere, he said.

    After the videos surfaced, netizens wrote posts on the Singapore Police Force's Facebook page, urging the authorities to take action against Mr Quek.

    "They must have expedited investigations. There was also the video evidence, which showed his face and what he did," said Mr Rajan.

    "Perhaps his arrest would send a message to like-minded drivers that they cannot behave like him."

    That sentiment was shared by Singapore Road Safety Council vice-chairman Gopinath Menon, who said he hoped this case would remind motorists to be more courteous and less aggressive on the roads.

    He said: "There's an unhealthy trend of people becoming more aggressive when they get behind the wheel of a car.

    "People now know that you cannot act like that and expect to get away with it. This is about courtesy. If you're courteous, such a thing won't happen."