After Australian senator Fraser Anning was egged by a teen for blaming the Christchurch shootings on Muslims earlier this month, it was the turn of Singapore ’s Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam to be in the crosshairs. On March 19, a police report was lodged against Edmund Zhong, a 20-year-old Singaporean doing his national service, who had written on a Channel NewsAsia Facebook post about Anning, “I wanna do that to K. Shanmugam, I swear.” In a statement to the police on Tuesday, Zhong said he did not feel “much regret” about the comment. “I feel it’s a matter of freedom of speech, and that we have a right to voice such opinions,” he said. “I just commented to draw a link to our local context, and then another guy just added fuel to the fire. I don’t even know the guy at all.” The person Zhong was referring to is a 47-year-old who responded to his initial comment with information about an upcoming public appearance by the minister. This man has since also been asked to assist the police with their investigations for the offence of communicating via electronic record an incitement to violence under Section 267C of Singapore’s Penal Code, which is punishable by up to five years’ imprisonment, a fine, or both. Force-fed vomit and threatened with death: Singapore couple jailed for domestic worker abuse Ashwin Ganapathy, of IRB Law, told the The Straits Times that it was unlikely charges would be brought against the pair. “The violence is not just in persuading or suggesting. It must go further. It must at least instigate, spur or stimulate vigorously an action,” he said. “Saying that you want to egg Mr Shanmugam, without doing or saying anything more, is unlikely to fall within the ambit of the provision.” The minister himself made light of the saga, updating his Facebook page on Thursday with an image featuring eggs with faces drawn on them. “When I was told about it, I laughed it off – the somewhat exaggerated words of a young man,” he said in a Facebook post on Wednesday. “I was then told about some of his background, and that he would be interviewed to establish that he is not actually going to take any action. I can laugh off these comments, but understandably, police can’t.” In contrast, Kanagavijayan Nadarajan, a senior lawyer at Kana & Co, said a case could be made against Zhong. “It is the definition of ‘to incite violence’. He used the words ‘I swear’ and hence has formed the intention. Throwing an egg at someone is a violent act although of lesser culpability than other more serious acts of violence like causing hurt with a weapon,” he said. “Further, others had responded to his comment. One had said that he would provide the egg. The other went to the extent of letting Zhong know when the minister would be in his constituency for the meet-the-people session. Hence, the incitement has been made out.” Kanagavijayan said police may charge Zhong in court or choose to issue a warning against him. Insider’s guide to Singapore – where crazy rich Asians go In other parts of the world, throwing eggs is a well-established form of political protest – particularly in Britain. Earlier this month, Brexit supporter John Murphy, 31, shouted “respect the vote” as he hit Britain’s opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn with an egg. Murphy was jailed for 28 days on Monday after pleading guilty to a charge of assault. Politicians David Cameron, Nigel Farage, George Galloway, Ruth Kelly and Nick Griffin; superstar Arnold Schwarzenegger; music producer Simon Cowell and magician David Blaine have all similarly been pelted with eggs. In 2001, Britain’s former deputy prime minister John Prescott punched a protester in North Wales who had hurled an egg at him during an election campaign. Elsewhere, an egg-throwing incident that took place in Australia more than 100 years ago which targeted then prime minister Billy Hughes is often linked to the formation of that country’s federal police. As for Zhong’s remarks about throwing an egg at Shanmugam, public reaction has been mixed. Some said the police overreacted by launching an investigation, while others said that the comment itself was unacceptable. “Apparently the Egg Boy is admired because he threw an egg. This boy got into trouble just thinking of it? Hmmmm,” said Twitter user “shirokage”, referring to both the Australian teen and Zhong, respectively. “We have freedom of speech but you have to be responsible for what you say. You cannot jokingly make threats. Planes can be turned back or grounded because of these types of ‘jokes’,” said Facebook user Yan Tan. Strangled, dumped and burned: Chinese woman’s death in Singapore For his part, Shanmugam has sought to refocus the debate onto Zhong’s supposed support for the legalisation of marijuana. “I am more concerned about his public comments, on his [Facebook], on his attitude to narcotics,” he said in a statement. “I hope he does not actually experiment further with cannabis, regardless of how desirable he thinks drugs are.” Under Singapore’s Misuse of Drugs Act, possession, consumption and trafficking of controlled drugs , including cannabis, could incur penalties ranging from caning, fines and imprisonment to the death penalty. The law also stipulates that a citizen or permanent resident of Singapore who has consumed drugs outside the country will be dealt with as though the offence had been committed in Singapore.