SINGAPORE – A Certis Cisco auxiliary police officer raised the bollards along a road at the Istana without ensuring that no vehicle was about to pass through – causing an accident on the morning of the visit of US Vice President Kamala Harris.

A car carrying Mr Chee Wee Kiong, the Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs at the time, crashed into the bollards. Mr Chee and the driver of the car suffered multiple fractures.

The permanent secretary was hospitalised for two days with injuries including a sternum and tooth fracture.

The officer, Tan Chee Kiat, 29, was fined $2,500 after pleading guilty on Wednesday (Aug 31) to causing hurt through a negligent act.

The court heard that Tan was deployed at a security post in Edinburgh Road – located within the Istana – and was tasked to operate the control panel for the ground bollards mounted along the road.

When activated, the bollards would rise from the ground and block the road.

On Aug 23, 2021, a car driven by Mr Abdul Latif Karim approached the security post and received clearance to enter Edinburgh Road, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Jaime Pang. 

Mrs Harris visited the Istana that day as part of her trip here from Aug 22 to 24 last year. 

At 9.15am, Tan raised the bollards without checking if the car had passed through.

Mr Latif, who was driving the car at around 10kmh, noticed the bollards being raised but was unable to stop in time, leading to a collision, said DPP Pang.

Mr Latif and Mr Chee, who was in the front passenger seat, were hurt and taken to Raffles Hospital for treatment.

Mr Latif, who had a sternum fracture and left knee contusion, was discharged the next day.

Investigations found that Tan, as the operator of the bollards, was required to look out for vehicles when raising the barrier.

DPP Pang, who sought a fine for Tan, said: “When he activated the bollards, the accused had failed to conduct such a visual inspection and assumed that the car had passed the bollards, thus resulting in the collision.”

“Raising the bollards without checking was an act which was so negligent as to endanger the personal safety of others.”