Parents were thrown into disarray as they travelled to pick their children up from school and began to receive text messages from other parents stating "persons dressed as clowns seen loitering around primary schools," as one text read.
Wong was running late for the school run and when she arrived at the school gates her 9-year-old daughter Anne, who usually waited at her Singaporean school, was no where to be seen.
Speaking to VICE World News, Wong said: “I was held up due to traffic and my mind started racing when I didn’t see Anne waiting for me."
In a panic she checked her phone, opened Facebook, and saw her worst nightmare – floods of social media posts filled her screen showing pictures of men dressed up as clowns and approaching children in uniform.
Some worrying posts even mentioned that the creepy clowns had "paid" children to follow them.
“Clowns are terrifying, even to adults,” Wong said.
“This is any parent’s worst fear. What if they turned out to be psychopaths and murderers wanting to harm children?”
The terrifying sightings took place on Monday, 20th September outside primary schools in the eastern part of the island.
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Despite Singapore's famously low crime rates, the parents were particularly on edge after a recent violent incident at a school in July which tragically saw a 13-year-old killed by another student with an axe.
The Singapore Police Force told the Straits Times that it had received multiple reports about clown sightings from concerned parents.
One screenshot that was circulating on social media pictured an extremely tall man wearing clown make-up and dressed in a classic plaid shirt, staring down at students waiting at a bus stop near the school.
A local private education centre came forward to apologise for the distress caused by the clowns.
Kevin Tan, the director at Speech Academy Asia, explained to the Straits Times that they hired the clowns as a marketing campaign to promote speech and enrichment classes at their centre.
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“There was no evil intention behind the costumes and we sincerely apologise for it,” Tan said.
“We will not do it again.”
A public apology was also published on its Facebook page and clarified that their employees did not offer “any form of monetary rewards for children to follow them” and that they did not “take any children out of the vicinity.”
“We truly understand your concern for the safety of your children; hence we will be putting an immediate stop to our roadshows,” they added.
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Singapore minister Tan Chuan-Jin slammed the centre's clown idea as “nonsense” in a Facebook post.
He added: “It’s not amusing and just plain dangerous."
Concerned parent Wong was eventually reunited with her daughter Anne, who had been held indoors by teachers with several of her classmates amid the chaos.
“It was a foolhardy stunt that was done in such bad taste, especially considering that many parents and students in Singapore are grieving the events of the axe killing,” she said.
“Who in the world would think hiring men dressed up as clowns to confront children would be a good idea?”
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