If you thought our govt has lost its creativity, don't worry! They are as innovative as ever.
THE police could soon have the power to stop and detain any group of five or more people they suspect of gathering together to plot a crime (see article below)...any crime.
It is a crime to gather to plan a crime.
Therefore, it is a crime to gather to plan a gathering to plan a crime
Therefore, it is a crime to gather to plan a gathering to plan a gathering to plan a crime. etc etc.
So if you start meeting a group of friends regularly you have to ask them in 10 years time, will they ever gather to plan a crime. If they gather to plan a crime, the gathering before that is also a crime, and the gathering before that is also a crime, ...and the before that is also a crime and so on....it is therefore a crime to meet them for the first time.
I ponder long and hard about the purpose of this law and realised it is because the PAP care alot about ordinary citizens. They want us to mix with good company not dangerous people with initials C.S.J. If you join a gathering or meeting, you have to be sure it won't lead to another meeting that leads to another meeting that leads to another that results in 4 people being surrounded by men in blue. See how much the govt cares about you? They care so much they don't want you to mix with potential criminals.
Nov 10, 2006
Plotting a crime? Police can soon detain any such group
Laws on unlawful assembly will be extended to cover all offences
By Ben Nadarajan
THE police could soon have the power to stop and detain any group of five or more people they suspect of gathering together to plot a crime.
Plans to extend the laws covering unlawful assembly mean that it would be an offence to meet for the purpose of planning any crime, rather than just certain offences currently specified under the Penal Code.
At the moment, such gatherings are illegal only if the offence they are plotting, among other things, carries a punishment of six months' jail or more, or affects public tranquillity.
The planned revisions to the Penal Code would remove these provisions so that the law covers all offences.
The punishment for unlawful assembly would remain the same; a maximum of six months in jail, or a fine, or both.
This change echoes a Court of Appeal case more than a decade ago, when prosecutors appealed against the acquittal of 25 gamblers charged with unlawful assembly. Since the maximum punishment for gambling is six months' jail, they had been cleared of the crime.
A five-judge court ruled that unlawful assembly should be applicable to the plotting of all crimes.
Asked about the amendment to the law, the president of the Association of Criminal Lawyers, Mr Subhas Anandan, said: 'It would be interesting to know what's the background behind why the ministry felt it was necessary to change this.'
Some lawyers suggest it could be a response to the increasing number of youth gangs, which are increasingly responsible for offences like stealing, rioting and public mischief. Last year, 4,594 youths were arrested for various crimes.
Civil society groups fear it gives too much power to the police to make arrests.
Think Centre president Sinapan Samydorai said: 'The discretion of deciding when a group of five people are planning a crime falls on the police when it should be the courts which decide this.
'I also find it strange as it contradicts the Government's notion of encouraging civil society to open up.'
Lawyer Amolat Singh said he did not think civil society groups are the target of the amended law, saying 'present laws would be enough to muzzle them if that were the Government's aim'.
He added: 'On the contrary, with the changes, civic groups should plan for proper control of their proceedings and nip any possible degeneration...into an unlawful assembly by arranging for appropriate officials, security and so on.'