Man claiming to be sovereign citizen remanded at IMH after saying he was dead

David Sun
The Straits Times
October 13, 2022

A man who claimed to be a sovereign citizen also said that the person known by his name was dead.

Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman, 57, said he was merely representing his former self and that he was a private, sovereign citizen who cannot be prosecuted.

On Thursday, the court ordered that he be remanded at the Institute of Mental Health for two weeks for psychiatric evaluation.

The accused claimed trial to two charges related to not wearing a mask.

He is alleged to have flouted Covid-19 rules by not wearing a mask at East Coast Park on March 19, 2021, and inside and outside the State Courts on July 2, 2021.

Four witnesses testified on the first day of his trial on Thursday.

A police officer and an investigation officer testified regarding the incident at the State Courts, while an auxiliary police officer and safe distancing officer testified on the incident at East Coast Park.

Abdul had told the court the person known by his name was dead and that he was now merely representing his former self.

He said that he is a sovereign citizen who cannot be governed by the laws of Singapore, and read from a document declaring his sovereignty.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Timotheus Koh then asked the court for Abdul's mental state to be assessed, raising concerns that the accused was incoherent and would not be able to follow court proceedings.

District Judge Bala Reddy agreed with the prosecution.

He said that while it was not apparent at the commencement of proceedings, it became clear that Abdul needed to be assessed after he started giving evidence from the witness box.

After the proceedings, Abdul was heard saying that he was not given an opportunity to explain his evidence.

When the police tried to get Abdul to cooperate, he told them: "I understand what you're saying, but I disagree."

He also told the officers that he had "revoked consent" to be governed more than 20 years ago.

He said: "I am not part of the society... I am the great grandson of the sultanate of Singapore."

When officers asked for his identification documents, he claimed that he had renounced his Singapore citizenship, and handed them a small, dark red book which was not a Singapore passport.

Two men who had accompanied Abdul to the hearing later told him that they would "inform the queen" of the developments.

The next hearing for the case is scheduled on Oct 27.

Abdul had previously claimed to be an ambassador-at-large and advocate of Kingdom Filipina Hacienda, and had turned up at the State Courts claiming to be the lawyer representing British national Benjamin Glynn last year.

Glynn, 40, a former recruitment consultant, was jailed for six weeks after being convicted of two charges under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act, as well as one count each of harassment and being a public nuisance.

He had also claimed to be a sovereign citizen.

Glynn was later deported and barred from re-entering Singapore.

Abdul was turned away from the State Courts previously for inappropriate attire. He also admitted he did not have a licence to practise law but said he was from the Kingdom Filipina Hacienda.

Kingdom Filipina Hacienda, which claims to be an autocratic sovereign monarchy in the Philippines, is not a recognised territory.

It has at its head a woman described as "Queen of the Motherland".

If convicted of flouting Covid-19 rules by not wearing a mask, Abdul may be jailed for up to six months and fined up to $10,000 for each charge.

The Straits Times

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