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Jurong GRC MP Tan Wu Meng attacked at Meet-the-People session, suffers bruises and abrasions

[SINGAPORE] Jurong GRC MP Tan Wu Meng was attacked by a resident during his Meet-the-People (MPS) session in Clementi on Monday night.

Dr Tan told The Straits Times he was talking to a resident at around 10pm when a young man suddenly rushed over and began hitting him with his fists.

"One moment I was speaking to that resident and the next thing I knew someone was hitting me and I found myself on the floor," he said.

Other residents and volunteers managed to quickly restrain the attacker, but Dr Tan suffered bruises on his arm and abrasions on his neck.

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The police and Singapore Civil Defence Force came and advised Dr Tan to go to a hospital.

"There were a handful of residents who had not seen the MP yet so I made sure I saw them before I went to hospital. I wasn't keen to go but the police and SCDF advised me I should be evaluated at the A&E (Accident and Emergency department)," he said.

The attacker, whom Dr Tan described as being in his 30s, was arrested by the police.

After his check-up at the National University Hospital, Dr Tan said he returned to the MPS to continue writing appeal letters for residents - including his attacker.

"This gentleman had only come to the MPS once before, about a year ago, and we didn't get a chance to interview him this time before he started hitting me, but we were able to piece together what his current problem is," he said.

"I can't share what it is, but we wrote an appeal for him anyway last night. So I also hope whatever difficulties he's facing, he finds his way and things work out for him."

While such an incident has never happened to him before, Dr Tan said that as a public servant he was always aware that such things could occur.

"The work continues," he added.

Dr Tan, a medical oncologist, does not plan to beef up security at his MPS area as he feels it is already quite secure, and he wants the area to remain accessible to residents.

"Our interview area is what we call an open form area, it's a room with many tables where many volunteers meet residents at the same time and I go table to table to meet as many residents as possible," he said.

"So when something happens there is always someone nearby. We also have CCTV cameras in the room already so the incident was captured on camera."

There were previous cases of Members of Parliament being attacked. In 2009, then Yio Chu Kang MP Seng Han Thong was handing out hongbao to needy and elderly people at a grassroots event in his constituency when a man ran up behind him, splashed paint thinner down his back and set fire to him.

Mr Seng was also attacked in 2006, at an MPS session, where he was punched by a 74-year-old cabby who was upset with him as he believed the MP was not helping him to get his revoked taxi licence back.