After a 40 minute hearing, Judge Steven Ashurst of York Crown Court sentenced MOE scholar Wong, 23, to a suspended jail term of 6 months for 17 charges of possessing child pornography videos. He will stay out of jail if he behaves himself for the next 2 years, but he will be listed on the sex offender registry for 7 years. Wong was saved from a potential 5 year imprisonment because the British courts believed that Wong, a first time offender who had pleaded guilty, deserved a second chance in life.
Card carrying PAP member Danny Soo was arrested by the police on 7th July 2009 and jailed 9 months for taking upskirt photos of unsuspecting women. District Judge Lee Poh Choo remarked that even if Soo was active in community service (which was used in his mitigation), he must still face the harsh consequences of his criminal acts. During an exclusive interview with Straits Times in 2007, Young PAP Chairman and MP Teo Ser Luck said he had asked Soo to become the Chairman of Punggol Park Community Club and Citizens’ Consultative Committee in 2006. "He cares for others. He had been volunteering for many years and earned the respect of others to be…a potential leader," Mr Teo had claimed. Too bad his political master cared nought for him. The used douchebag even had to return his Public Service Medal, awarded for 15 years of grassroots work.
Singapore's justice system was inherited from British colonial days. Despite similar origins, the disparity between the administration in both countries makes one wonder if the law here serves to rehabilitate or to evoke punitive malfeasance. Lip service is paid by the politicians for the "Yellow Ribbon Project", spearheaded by the Community Action for the Rehabilitation of Ex-Offenders (CARE) Network, a group of major community and government organisations tasked for the rehabilitation of ex-offenders. One of their stated objectives: Inspire community Action to support the rehabilitation and reintegration of ex-offenders back into society. Yet, one won't be surprised if things really get out of hand. Like the case of the Muslim cleric arrested in north-west Bangladesh, following the death of a woman who was publicly caned as punishment by an Islamic court for an extra marital affair.
One could speculate that the British judge may have be tempered by the spirit of charity during this yule-tide season, when Christians celebrate the birth of a Saviour to save sinners. As for us, we are just relieved we no longer have a Chief Justice whose dispensation of justice depends on the quality of the breakfast he feasted on the particular morning of the court hearing.