Man charged for swimming with 5 dogs in reservoir canal during circuit breaker

Wan Ting Koh
·Reporter
·2-min read
Cheong Wah Meng at the drainage canal near Upper Peirce Reservoir Park (PHOTO: Screenshot of video from Chained Dog Awareness in Singapore)
Cheong Wah Meng at the drainage canal near Upper Peirce Reservoir Park (PHOTO: Screenshot of video from Chained Dog Awareness in Singapore)

SINGAPORE — A man was charged on Wednesday (24 February) with a string of COVID-19 measurement breaches during last year's circuit breaker period, including bringing his five dogs for a swim at a drainage canal near the main gate of Upper Peirce Reservoir Park.

Cheong Wah Meng, 58, was handed 27 charges for alleged offences committed on 8 and 9 May last year. These are under the Animals and Birds Act, Animals and Birds (Dog Licensing and Control) Rules, COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020, the Animals and Birds (Dog Licensing and Control) Rules, and the Parks and Trees Act. 

Cheong, a Malaysian and Singapore permanent resident, allegedly left his residence along Thomson View on 8 and 9 May to bring the five dogs – a poodle, a labrador retriever, a mongrel, and two golden retrievers – to swim at the drainage canal.

At the time, Singapore was under the circuit breaker period, with residents not allowed to leave their residences for non-essential purposes. Cheong was handed two charges for allegedly breaching COVID-19 regulations.

He was also handed charges for not leashing each of his dogs at the access road leading to Upper Peirce Reservoir Park, and for bringing each of his dogs into Upper Peirce Reservoir Park without the approval of the Commissioner of Parks and Recreation on those two days.

On both days, Cheong allegedly entered the open area that was closed to the public with the “No Entry” signage located around five metres from the main gate of Upper Peirce Reservoir Park.

While at the drainage canal at around 11am on 9 May, Cheong allegedly dropped the poodle from a height of one metre into the fast-running water below, failing to ensure it was protected from significant injury. This was captured on a video that made its rounds on social media.

He was given one charge each for keeping the poodle at his residence instead of the address stated in its license, and for keeping more than three dogs at his residence.

Cheong's case was adjourned for his lawyer to be present at the next hearing, which was fixed for 10 March.

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