Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Swiss Vandal : The Sentencing Dilemma....

When I travelled in Europe by train, I saw plenty of graffiti. There even graffiti in the train I was travelling on. In Singapore, graffiti is not a form of art but seen as vandalism. Swiss national Fricker is a vandal not an artist. He is a criminal. Fricker is expected to plead guilty to all charges on Thursday[Link].


"Notwithstanding the provisions of any other written law, it is an offence under the Act to commit any act of vandalism, attempt to do any such act, or cause any such act to be done. Upon conviction, the penalty is a fine not exceeding S$2,000 or imprisonment not exceeding three years, and also corporal punishment of not less than three strokes and not more than eight strokes of the cane." - Singapore Vandalism Act [Wikipedia Link]

If he is a Singaporean, he will probably get 2-3 years jail and caning will be a certainty. Breaking into a restricted compound is considered a very serious crime in Singapore. I support the idea of applying the same laws and justice to everyone on this island. However, giving Friker the same sentence as a Singaporean will definitely result in hue and outrage in his home country of Switzerland ....they will be quite stunned if Fricker is given a jail sentence and caning for graffiti.

Many Singaporeans and netizens are watching this case closely to see what kind of sentence Fricker will get. Given the Michael Fay case [Link]which put the spotlight on the punishment for certain crimes in Singapore, they will have to be prepared for some attention from the international media if Fricker is given a sentence that a Singaporean would be expected to receive for the same crime.

If our laws and punishment for breaking them are just and well thought out, the govt should be confident it can get the rest of the world to see things our way. They will have difficulty only if our system imposes unnecessarily brutal punishment that goes against the universal sense of justice .....

28 comments:

http://vonhayek.blogspot.com/ said...

I bet PAP kangaroo court will cite medical excuses or psychological apologetic to get this swiss off hook.

Anonymous said...

One law for foreigners, another for Singaporeans. Just watch.

sgycnic said...

Don't worry. Our esteemed law minister is very good at Taichi. He's the shield of the PAP.

Kaffein said...

It will be a travesty of injustice if the Swiss is let off lightly. Even the fan of LKY who wrote 'Harry Lee I love you' on the Parliament wall was not spared. How much more a foreigner who has no regards for the 'out of bounds' sign.

BryanT said...

Whether graffiti is considered an art form or vandalism depends on WHERE and probably HOW it is carried out.

I don't think there is an absolutely categorisation OVERSEAS that graffiti is artistic nor is it universality appreciated.

Neither is graffiti totally banned HERE. So-called graffiti artists can practise at the *scape-Youth Centre.

Check out Kamal Dollah's blog where graffiti is encouraged in the schools:

http://kamaldollah.wordpress.com/2008/04/11/second-graffiti-workshop-at-outram-secondary-school/

Anonymous said...

In the Michael Fay case, after an appeal from then President Clinton, I think Fay was given a 33% discount of the rotan, from 9 strokes to 6 stokes.

This looked more acceptable. Maybe the same will be for this Swiss, unless exempted on medical grounds. So give and take lah.

Anonymous said...

aiyo, where can i place bets, quick!

i bet the swiss will be given a very light sentence, if convicted at all! oso, i bet that the sentence will be so light that stinkaporeans will be convinced of this cardinal rule:

"one rule for stinkies, one rule for foreign trash."

Anonymous said...

I don't quite see how Fricker can escape caning 'cos Michael Fay was caned long ago. A precedent has been set.

It doesn't mean I want Fricker caned. It would be terrible. Indeed, I'm very sorry for him and I wish he can escape caning.

http://vonhayek.blogspot.com/ said...

The canning of Michael Fay is wrong in the first place. It was an over-zealot sentencing and probably a vendetta by the judge.

(One of Fay's victim is Judicial Commissioner Amarjeet Singh, wife Dr Kanwaljit Soin‎)

The couple's son Bhatia commented :" once you loosen up or the laws become lax, everything comes in. The floodgates are opened. It doesn't pay to mess around with the system."

Later, Bhatia was sentenced to eight months in jail for cocaine consumption.

He is soon out of prison serving out his sentence at home, wearing an electronic tag.

FUCK out elites.

Anonymous said...

Caning = brutal, inhumane, barbaric torture means. FT , Singaporean or PRs alike do not deserve it.

May international outcry bless SG to be free from uncivilized caning punishments henceforth.

No link but still, hey, this FT opened our eyes big big showing us how lightly the gahment n SMRT treat public commuters' safety.

Anonymous said...

I am not sure if he should be punished. Without this incident, security at SMRT depot may be remained as inadequate. He has carried out an intrusion test "on behalf of" the government agency who should have been doing to check the level of SMRT security. When the minister gazetted an installation as a protective area, shouldn't they carry out check on compliances? I see this is an area being neglected.

Anonymous said...

lol, this case now on YouTube!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6Nd8piCouY

Anonymous said...

Of course he should be punished! He broke the freaking law and is a vandal. Why? If the culprit is some malay or local would you still say he should not be punished?

Anonymous said...

Of course, he will get caning, but the cane will be the size of a drinking straw. Ouch !!!! that is very painful... must be lah !!!

Anonymous said...

I bet PAP kangaroo court will cite medical excuses or psychological apologetic to get this swiss off hook.

Not necessarily this time round as the general election is near.

He is suay that he committed the offense near to and before the general election.

Anonymous said...

Graffiti is an art... I seen the pictures and thought that it was quite nice... not the most fantastic artistic desgins but it was nevertheless nice...

Lucky, yeah graffiti is nice, common in europe... can be of high artistic values (excluding those racist, vuglar ones) but one can get it spray on your house door and windows... it happens...

Still, at least the 2 vandals exposed such a flaw in the SMRT security system better than someone going in to wreak havoc...

Anonymous said...

Graffiti is an art only if the "artist" is doing the art on his own palette, or invited by others to do it on others'.

Caning is an art too you know? You must be trained and cannot anyhow wield the rotan on anyone.

Anonymous said...

Look, the Michael Fay incident was aim at wildfully "destroying and damaging public" and private property.

As for this poor swiss, let me tell you how the Vandalism Act can be interpreted.

Penalty for acts of vandalism, according to our statute, "...shall be liable on conviction to [a fine not exceeding $2,000] OR [to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years, and shall also, subject to section 231 of the Criminal Procedure Code, be punished with caning with not less than 3 strokes and not more than 8 strokes.] (emphasis and brackets mine)

Furthermore, there is a provision that: "Provided that the punishment of caning shall not be imposed on a first conviction under this Act in the case of any act falling within —

(a) ...mark or inscription is done with pencil, crayon, chalk or other delible substance or thing and not with paint, tar or other indelible substance or thing; or...

So what the swiss can do is to prove that he used "other delible substance or thing" and he shall not be caned! And if the gahment does not intend to whip him, then no one will bother to prove that he used "paint, tar or other indelible substance or thing."

Anonymous said...

Jialat, to cane or not to cane ? Either case, it's bad publicity for PAP. This is how PAP shoots themselves in their own foot.

I suppose they can always find a way out just like if someone can confirm whether the following is true :

So Bhatia is the suspected drug dealer with borderline 14.99g of cocaine case who escaped from being hanged because his father happened to be a judge and mother a PAP appointed NMP ?

It's such a pity that Yong did not having parents connected to the authorities ?

Anonymous said...

The PAP think the world adore our justice system. Now they find themselves in a sticky situation with this case.
To avoid an international incident,
I think they will do a taiji much like letting the German girl off the death penalty hook with that impurity limit crap!

Freaker said...

Fricker will probably get the minimum 3 strokes. But I also sincerely hope the court will award him $2M as consultant fees for exposing security weaknesses in our transportation system.

This fee should be taken out from the pay of LHL, WKS, Raymond Lim, CEO of Smrt.

If I were Fricker, I would demand the fees and use my time in court to lambast all the above named people for their incompetency, inefficiency, ineffectiveness and overpaid complacency such that Singapore had to depend on YouTube to surface this incident. I would want all these condemnations to be officially recorded in the court transcripts and hopefully for some media to report on it to the wider public.

Rgds,
Freaker (not Fricker)

Anonymous said...

"Jialat, to cane or not to cane ? Either case, it's bad publicity for PAP. This is how PAP shoots themselves in their own foot."


I don't think the govt is shooting its own foot in this case. You will be surprised there are many well heeled foreigners who actually support the "draconian" laws we have especially on offences like vandalism and trespass which are rampant and go unpunished in their home countries.

Anonymous said...

For Singaporeans, the punishment of the Swiss Offender should be seondary.

What is important, VERY IMPORTANT IN FACT, is the ease for intruder(s) to violate protected places and stay within them to do prank or damaging act without being detected.

Had the Two Offenders been terrorists who could have planted explosive or tampered with the mechanism of the train(s) to cause derailment or whatever damages, COMMUTERS COULD HAVE BEEN KILLED AND MAIMED. The consequence could have been disastrous.

Next comes the reactions of our leaders and the effectiveness and efficiency of our judiciary. Have they shown themselves to be responsible and accountable?? Has the Judiciary been suspected of partiality? Has it proven itself independent and free from influence from the executive?? Has justice been been overlooked in past cases and others.

Despite the unlawful acts, me thinks that we, the citizens of Singapore, should thank both the Offenders for exposing the many latent weaknesses prevailing in the governance of Singapore. They should be punished but they should also be proud that Singaporeans will be grateful to them.

patriot

Anonymous said...

If no jail and caning, every Singaporean should go to the High Court and spit on it.

William said...

I live in the UK which is plagued by graffiti 'artists'. One in particular, going by the name of 'Banksy' is praised by some who should know better for the 'quality' of his work.

Personally, I wish we had quite a few of Singapore's laws here - and that they were applied vigorously. I might even apply for a job administering the rotan.

deep thinker said...

As a frequent guest of Singapore who has spent many months there, I must say I'm appalled that any visitor to a foreign country would fail to respect it's laws and justice system. I've never had any trouble following it's laws--they are not overly restrictive.

By entering the country as a guest, Mr Frickers has agreed to follow the laws whether he agrees with them or not. If he will be psychologically wounded from the punishment, he is a weak man and needs to grow up--or perhaps not commit the crime in the first place.

Breaking and entering, vandalism--as a guest he should be held more accountable than a Singaporean. There is no way he would have be ignorant of the law in this case.

Butterflye2020 said...

Once again Singapore proves itself to be a third world country by sentencing anyone to be brutally beaten. This is not 1994. The entire ritual is a sadomasochistic homoerotic one whereby the male is stripped Naked and tied up to a frame as one would tie an animal as a sadistic male guard that is paid for his fetish uses a wooden whip that has been soaked in chemicals to brutally beat him over and over and over again until bleeding and scarring result, while other salivating male guards and a doctor( I use the term loosely) enjoy watching the whole spectacle until the injured male is untied needing medical attention and or hospitalization. Welcome to 2010 and the S/M world of Singapore. Human Rights organizations have long since condemned this small country for its cruelty and violence that discriminates against males (females cannot be Flogged as they are not equal under the law) and Singapore has thumbed its nose at the United Nations year after year. The only hope in stopping this is when international companys and corporations put the price tag of human rights on their commerce. Until then the madness continues. Disgusting, Degrading, and Dehumanizing.

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