Woffles Wu case hits a nerve

Related posts:

1. Using power to give immunity to the powerful

2. Using power to give immunity to the powerful, part 2

97 Responses to “Woffles Wu case hits a nerve”


    • 2 Poker Player 18 June 2012 at 16:50

      Don’t you just love it when the world is such a big place with loads of instant juicy in-your-face examples when a Minister wants to make you think that if you do it things any other way other than their way we become Somalia…

    • 3 Almond 12 July 2012 at 15:47

      Dear Poker Player,

      I like your links to the high fines paid in the two BBC articles, but your headline is misleading, no? Neither case happened in Scandinavia. One was in Finland, (which is a Nordic, but not a Scandinavian country) and the other was in Switzerland (never mind that the driver was Swedish).

  1. 4 Poker Player 18 June 2012 at 16:45

    And yes, if you get slapped (or worse) by a rich local or expat, the police will act as a go between to for their offer to “compound” your offence. Why not? Poor citizens as stress relief punching bags for the rich. We are Singaporeans.

    • 5 Godwin 19 June 2012 at 22:46

      Well, some guy just beat up an “angmoh” for the price of $4000 and no jail term.

      http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/1208578/1/.html

      • 6 Poker Player 20 June 2012 at 10:59

        Just continuing the conversation…

        “In his mitigation, Chew’s lawyer argued that his client had no intention to cause trouble, but the Briton’s “derogatory comments coupled with his persistent taunts” angered him.”

        We all know the vocabulary used…

        Now in the cases where the Ang Moh beat up the local, what did the local do or say…your turn…

        And what should Chew have done? Called the police and invite more taunts?

      • 7 Poker Player 20 June 2012 at 11:03

        And don’t give me the “two wrongs do not make a right crap”. If somebody calls you a chink or yellow bastard or whatever Ang Mohs find hip to call locals nowadays and the police can’t do anything about it, what Chew did was illegal but entirely appropriate.

      • 8 Godwin 20 June 2012 at 14:20

        Well, PP, I do think two wrongs do not make a right, and I disagree that initiating violence in retaliation to verbal taunting is “appropriate”. I won’t tell Chew what he should have done, but I am sure he himself can think of many other alternatives which are preferable to what his chosen course of action has resulted for him.

        But that’s digressing. My point was simply that being a Singaporean involved in a case against the rich and/or angmoh does not always means you lose big – unless you consider a $4000 fine for scarring someone’s face.

      • 9 Poker Player 20 June 2012 at 16:30

        Let’s say I look like a maid. What are my chances of being insulted?

        Let’s say I am tall, heavy set, with tattoos. What are my chances of being insulted?

        Notice that my chances of being insulted have nothing to do with my propensity to violence. It’s what others who look like me have done. Whether I like it or not, I benefit (or otherwise) from people the actions of people who look like me.

        The Ang Mohs predilection towards insulting the “natives” is different in some minority US neighbourhoods compared to that in Singapore neighbourhoods. Why is that?

        I won’t tell Chew what he should have done, but I am sure he himself can think of many other alternatives which are preferable to what his chosen course of action has resulted for him.

        Name one. Pure evasion. You have no good answer.

      • 10 Poker Player 20 June 2012 at 16:37

        “But that’s digressing. My point was simply that being a Singaporean involved in a case against the rich and/or angmoh does not always means you lose big – unless you consider a $4000 fine for scarring someone’s face.”

        Only if the troublemaker is the Ang Moh. Unless you can find cases to the contrary. Which is my point.

      • 11 Poker Player 20 June 2012 at 16:44

        “The Ang Mohs predilection towards insulting the “natives” is different in some minority US neighbourhoods compared to that in Singapore neighbourhoods. Why is that?”

        I want to add to this. Even if the police in the two neigbourhoods are the behaved the same and the laws are exactly the same you will still see the same difference. Because the solution to not being insulted by outsiders is not in the law or the police.

        [Yawning Bread: this is getting off-topic. Let’s not go down this road.]

  2. 12 Sgcynic 18 June 2012 at 18:48

    The belief in the partiality of the law was also reinforced by how the AGC and the judiciary infamously seemed to bent over backwards and to interpret the law in favour of the PAP politicians GCT, TT, and LHL who entered the Cheng San polling centre during the 1997 GE :

    “The relevant question is whether any person who is inside a polling station can be said to be “within a radius of 200 metres of any polling station”. …Plainly, a person inside a polling station cannot be said to be within a radius of 200 metres of a polling station.”

    The Woffles case is simply another in a long line of those that depletes the trust and whatever capital the PAP government and its institutions once had.

    • 13 KC 19 June 2012 at 10:25

      @Sgcynic… indeed that polling station case was baffling. The very AGC who made that argument is now the CJ, his performance must have earned him a medal worthy of higher office.

      While the AGC has wide ranging prosecutorial discretions, such as selectively choosing who to hang while charging another for life with 1 gram of drug less, my biggest bone of contention is with the judge. Does the judge not need to ask why a charge is preferred over another? If the judge, being an eminent legal professional, doesn’t see the need to ask such questions, then how could any judge claim that they are there to see that justice is done? It looks like they are there to do justice to what AGC determines. It therefore makes AGC highly susceptible to corruption and hence should be publicly audited for their every action.

  3. 14 Kums 18 June 2012 at 20:11

    Hi Alex,
    Do you have any idea why there is a long delay from the time sentence was committed to the time the judgement was passed?

  4. 17 Murli 18 June 2012 at 20:39

    > Only some massive overturning of past judgements and political decisions will do.

    Like the equivalent of a Bo Xilai explosion?

  5. 18 Abdul 18 June 2012 at 20:42

    Interesting article and I think few may argue with you. Only thing I wish you had include is the disclaimer that “damage control” responses from government bodies are not entirely unwelcome. In a way, it shows that they are still accountable to the people. Or do you think otherwise?

    • 19 Poker Player 18 June 2012 at 23:43

      We should no more be impressed with this than with the remorse a thief expresses only because of and only after being caught.

    • 20 Poker Player 19 June 2012 at 00:08

      And if there is any entity you want to “welcome”, it’s the internet.

      Before its advent, this would have at best been furtive coffeeshop talk and would not have come close to any elite uncaring face….or even if it came close, expect nothing more than smirks…

      Just know what to “welcome”.

  6. 21 artemov 18 June 2012 at 20:59

    Classic case of winning the battle but losing the war.

    Nice to see Alex used the word “cock-ups” :P

    • 22 Anon 19 June 2012 at 12:40

      A cover-up is an act of cowardice, because it is born of a reluctance to shoulder responsibility. A cover-up requires duplicity in spades, and it is usually inspired by an insulting underestimation of the public’s intelligence (this last point, we do not forgive). By publicly displaying all these qualities for the public to digest and the press to dissect, the coverer in question ultimately causes an erosion of their own political capital.

      More cock-ups, please!

  7. 23 Francis 18 June 2012 at 22:07

    A lie to coverup another lie, and in the end, the number of lies compounded in numbers and beyond damage control.

    Question to open up Pandora’s Box :
    How many cases people get jailed because they lie to the police before the particular law is enacted ? What kind of people get jailed because of that ? Rich and poor ?

  8. 24 Jason 18 June 2012 at 22:11

    I do not see this case as being related to the various points you mention about ‘a toxic mix of many events in our history’. It is fueled more simply by a series of cases where somebody rich or famous seems to have gotten off easy in criminal court. The 2009 case involving newspaper editor Lim Hong Eng getting one day’s jail sentence and $2,000 fine (for beating a red light, killing one person and maiming another) was a poignant case in point. The 2011 Quan Yifeng case is another that comes to mind, as do the granting of bail to options trader Robert Dahlberg and Robert Springall who then predictably absconded.

  9. 26 Leuk75 18 June 2012 at 23:06

    I think Alex is not trying to comment on the fairness of the sentencing per se. What is most interesting is that the AGC and no less than the law minister himself actually stepped out and tried to legitimise the case. I certainly do not see them trying to rationalise other folks caught cheating a speeding ticket. We probably won’t give a damn if this is something regular. However, Singaporeans clearly been sensitised enough to develop an allergic suspicion reaction.

    Sad thing is our leaders clearly know it, but somehow cannot (or will not?) handle it.

  10. 27 Chanel 18 June 2012 at 23:15

    The “damage control” by the law minister and AGC seem to be owb goals!! Let us see if the presiding judge will make public the rationale for the sentencing (or lack of) on this case. But then again, the judge can’t pass a sentence beyond what the charges the AGC brought forth!

    Anothe one of those: ” Let’s move on”

  11. 28 Tom Li 19 June 2012 at 00:01

    and the cases exposed in the forbidden book on drug traffickers caught whereby the amount found on the son of a rich and famous was for no known reason suddenly reduced to below the fatal threshold…

    • 29 Poker Player 19 June 2012 at 09:52

      The authorities are remarkably indulgent (in these cases) in acquiescing to requests for re-weighing too. Quite creative when it comes to explaining why they get a different number the second time…

      • 30 Poker Player 19 June 2012 at 09:56

        The press gets in the act too. Remember the Australian of Vietnamese extraction? Straits Times had a field day making it look like the Vietnamese in Australia were a three-way cross between our maids, our drug addicts and our street cleaners (no disrespect to them – just making use of the typical Singaporean middle class (actually all classes come to think of it) perception of them).

  12. 31 yuen 19 June 2012 at 08:14

    > if they had all along believed Kuan’s confession that he was the one driving the car, why didn’t they charge Kuan?

    for a speeding offence, the normal penalty is a fine (compounding) and demerit points; it is unusual to “charge” the offender in court

    I actually find the traffic police commendable in their willingness to do the work to dig up a 2006 case and see it through. If AGC showed the same spirit and took the case more seriously, they would have done themselves a facour

    • 32 yawningbread 19 June 2012 at 08:55

      Fair enough, but in this particular case, the Straits Times said “He has not been charged” (quoted above) and Shanmugam said investigations are ongoing, as to who the driver actually was (also cited above), so my point still stands. What have they been doing with Kuan’s confession all these years? Did the police doubt it from the start? If so, why didn’t they act on their doubts then?

    • 34 Poker Player 19 June 2012 at 09:46

      “I actually find the traffic police commendable in their willingness to do the work to dig up a 2006 case and see it through. If AGC showed the same spirit and took the case more seriously, they would have done themselves a facour”

      Some people like to say not to condemn before we know all the facts. It works for commending too. Those who have dealt with the police before will know that they don’t do things unless something forced their hand (politics and activism excepted).

      • 35 Poker Player 19 June 2012 at 10:35

        “I actually find the traffic police commendable in their willingness to do the work to dig up a 2006 case and see it through. If AGC showed the same spirit and took the case more seriously, they would have done themselves a facour”

        And it was not action. It was reaction:

        “He said information was received only much later through a complaint to the AGC, made “more recently”.”

        .

      • 36 yawningbread 19 June 2012 at 16:52

        Yup, my guess is that the police were willing to let the case be left unattended . . . until new information came that forced them to get their act together. Consider this: the police did not even bother to follow up on Woffles Wu’s duty to report within 7 days who the driver was. The question that follows is: Why were the police so negligent?

        A comment on 19 June 10:18h mentioned CPIB (Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau) without providing any substantiation. Plausible but unless substantiated, not a line of inquiry we can take.

      • 37 Poker Player 22 June 2012 at 17:20

        The CPIB connection looks kosher.

        http://news.asiaone.com/News/Latest+News/Singapore/Story/A1Story20120617-353373.html

        http://sg.news.yahoo.com/law-minister-denies-wealthy-plastic-surgeon-was-let-off-lightly.html

        Add to that the “Deep Throat” level of detail in Anonymous 19 June 2012 at 17:44

    • 38 Chanel 19 June 2012 at 10:18

      I think CPIB was also involved, so the traffic police has little choice but to re-open the case.

  13. 39 oute 19 June 2012 at 08:33

    Where are the $16,000 a month Member of Parliament. Aren’t they the ones who approved the law.

  14. 40 no eye see 19 June 2012 at 08:40

    Remember CK Tang’s boss, Tang Wee Sung’s kidney case?

  15. 41 Dol 19 June 2012 at 09:04

    The offence itself is not very serious. Dr Wu is not involved in some major corruption/terrorist/espionage/homicide case.

    Therefore when there was unhappiness over the court judgement, the gov should have just kept quiet or have a lower-level person (eg Dr Wu’s lawyer if there was one) explain the situation.

    Instead the AGC & the Law Minister tried to explain the judgement. By doing so, it strenghtened the impression that the State was trying to cover things up for Dr Wu.

    If the AGC & Law Minister have to explain court judgements separately, it means in future, the Law Minister will be very busy.

    Or perhaps the Law Minister is creating more work for himself to justify his salary.

  16. 42 Objective 19 June 2012 at 10:11

    “The reason netizens took interest in the case was because it resonated with a widespread feeling that there is one law for the rich and powerful and another for ordinary blokes”. Is that so? The social media has failed miserably to raise up the following points when making such allegation:

    1. In this case Mr Kuan, an ordinary blokes, is let off with a stern warning based on compassionate grounds. There are many, including the rich and the poor, who made false statements but was given a fine or/and jail sentences.

    2. There are instances of car salesman and lorry driver knocking down people and was given a week jail term as compared to the recent case where a doctor was sentenced to 4 weeks jail. So how do we explain the allegations “is one law for the rich and powerful and another for ordinary blokes”?

    • 43 yawningbread 19 June 2012 at 10:16

      Can you cite your referenced cases more precisely?

      • 44 Poker Player 19 June 2012 at 10:51

        If he could, it would be at least 4 full pages of a Straits Time “special” and he wouldn’t need to. This is the best they could come up with.

      • 45 Objective 19 June 2012 at 11:25

        Doctor who got a 4 weeks jail term: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/1203498/1/.html

        Lorry drive who got a week jail term:

        http://news.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne+News/Crime/Story/A1Story20120608-351433.html

        Car salesman who got a week jail term for knocking down 5 years old girl. This article talks about his other charges for fraud:

        http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Singapore/Story/STIStory_812335.html

        As a matter of fact, the one that is being charged of giving false information is Mr Kuan who is let off with just a stern warning. Other instances of such case include (source from TOC):

        In the 2008 case of PP v Poh Chee Hwee, the accused gave false information to the police to help his brother avoid prosecution for a traffic offence. He was charged under Section 182 of the Penal Code, and given 2 weeks imprisonment.

        Note that this man was also charged with giving false information and not the traffic offender himself but was given 2 weeks imprisonment. So going by your argument Mr Kuan should be richer that’s why he escaped with a warining?

        It has been already highlighted that the case involving Wu is still ongoing. They are trying to ascertain who is the real driver. A case can involve many charges and not all are given out at once. In addition, sometimes the prosecutor will appeal against the sentences and thus resulted in a revision. There’s another case where a guy got away with a fine but was subsequently jailed. I don’t think he is richer than a surgeon. But again I don’t have the full picture to make baseless allegations and judgements like many here do.

      • 46 Poker Player 19 June 2012 at 14:07

        I personally have the greatest respect for people who run TRE and write articles for it. But it has a reputation among certain types and universally among self-declared “objective” wink wink types as something from the gutter.

        So, surely these “objective” types can do better than this:

        http://www.tremeritus.com/2012/06/18/agcs-explanation-throws-up-more-questions/

        Live this down…LOL!

      • 47 Poker Player 19 June 2012 at 17:22

        “Note that this man was also charged with giving false information and not the traffic offender himself but was given 2 weeks imprisonment. So going by your argument Mr Kuan should be richer that’s why he escaped with a warining?”

        When everyone is staring at Woffles Wu, this guy is making believe we are gunning for Kuan! Just how desperate are these people for a shred of defence…making it about the pawn rather than the player!!!

      • 48 Poker Player 19 June 2012 at 17:38

        “But again I don’t have the full picture to make baseless allegations and judgements like many here do.”

        What do you call it when a judge or jury is allowed to draw adverse conclusions from a defendant’s unwillingness to give the “full picture”? Any Singaporean not born yesterday can smell the evasiveness.

    • 49 Sgcynic 19 June 2012 at 10:36

      How’s this to explain the allegation of perceived different treatment for the rich and the poor? Objective?

      http://singaporemind.blogspot.sg/2012/06/woffles-wu-case-all-equal-in-eyes-of.html?m=1

  17. 50 risa 19 June 2012 at 11:22

    good article, well done esp.Yawning bread- Mr Alex. Singaporeans are fully aware and this episode has shown up AG and Law Minister as flawed.

  18. 51 Just saying only 19 June 2012 at 11:30

    When you get a PAP big-shot minister coming out to ‘try to spin a story’, it’s not wrong to assume that something not so right had taken place behind the scene.
    And now that he’d painted himself into the picture, there is no way to erase it off without leaving a dirty stain.
    And they keep telling singaporeans that they’re the best of the best, tested & proven, people that that this country cannot do without.

  19. 52 Objective 19 June 2012 at 11:43

    So can someone answer my question why Mr Kuan who is an offender too is let off with a stern warning only? If we follow the online allegations that our law only protect the rich, then may i ask is this man rich as well?

    • 53 yawningbread 19 June 2012 at 16:46

      First of all, the stern warning was for giving false information, not for speeding. The police say they still don’t know who was driving the car. My guess is that the police felt that Kuan could not be held totally liable for giving false information because Woffles Wu was his employer; it could have been hard for Kuan to turn down Wu’s request to take the fall for him. If that is the reasoning behind giving Kuan a stern warning instead of charging him, I would concur.

      • 54 artemov 19 June 2012 at 16:51

        So if you are not the rich and powerful, at least work for one?
        打狗要看主人面 …

    • 55 Sgcynic 19 June 2012 at 18:36

      KUAN is now 83. For his ‘crime’, what would you propose as an objective and just punishment? Fine, jail or both?

    • 56 You See 13 July 2012 at 10:51

      They cannot jail Kuan, because Kuan’s offence is less serious than Woffle’s offence. If they jail Kuan, they have to jail Woffles as well.

  20. 57 Saycheese 19 June 2012 at 11:57

    “Kuan gave the false information. Woffles Wu, who did not give any information
    to the police, was charged with abetting Kuan to do so, which is an offence under
    s 81(3) of the Road Traffic Act. There was no evidence of payment or gratification
    given to Kuan. Kuan, who is 82 years old, was given a stern warning. ”

    Quoted the above from AGC’s press release. What was the motive for Kuan to commit the same offence twice? Was Kuan being the fall guy in gratitude for being given employment? And was he given a stern warning in view of his age? Was the abettor fined because the crime was committed for the benefit of the abettor who is the employer of the perpetrator?

    • 58 Saycheese 19 June 2012 at 12:06

      Anyone who has any experience of fighting his case in Singapore court for a traffic offence will learn the hard way that unless he can convince the judge of his innocence, it will be guilty as charged.

  21. 59 Alan Wong 19 June 2012 at 16:58

    In the doctor’s case who was jailed for 4 months for knocking down a cyclist fatally, the authorities would be asking for trouble if our justice system had let him off without a jail term because the doctor still insisted that he was not aware of knocking down anybody in spite of the obvious damage to his car. In other words, how to cover up for him even if they had wanted to ?

    But in Woffle’s case, the overwhelming evidence seems to point out that even when he was lying and yet the authorities acted to give us the perception that they are finding the flimsiest reasons not to jail him to the extent of contradicting Woffle’s own statement. Isn;t it strange that it appears like the AGC’s Office is acting like his own defence lawyers?

    And adding salt to injury, they did not even hesitate to say that they are not appealing against the sentence. At least say will consider mah and so why give us the impression that they are in such a hurry to close the case after taking their own sweet time in prosecuting the case against the surgeon when it is not such a complicated case of obstructing justice & perjury ?

    When compared to the other lady surgeon who tried to challenge their authority on some private deal such as charging expensive fees for some exclusive professional services, can’t help feeling that she had to eventually face the full brunt of the law, like a tit for that ? Looking back in hindsight, doesn’t this prominent surgeon even have a right to charge privileged clients exclusive fees seeking her services ?

    Who is our AGC’s Office working for, by the way ?

  22. 60 Anonymous 19 June 2012 at 17:44

    Law Minister explained that Dr Woffles Wu was charged under the old law at that material time when the offence was committed. The further explanations why it took seven years to charge Dr Woffles Wu in Court was a recent complain against him at the CPIB. The question is that the releationship of chraging seven years later and the only recent complain really make no sense at all. Furthermore, Mr Leon have also written in to the Straits Times Forum asking the relevant authorities (including but not limited to Law & Foreign Minister, PMO, Istana, AGC) to explain this case. All along, in the Press release, it did NOT state who the actual driver of this case was.

    Law Minister also said that “police were unaware of the offences at that time”. May I bring to the attention that complain investigation papers (IP) of CPIB was 2009/0132. Meaning to say that the complain was lodged with CPIB in the year 2009 and they are claiming that the police do not know about this? How is this possible? IP numbers are given out by the AGC when there is an ongoing case. Since year 2009, numerous follow-ups with the CPIB revealed that the case is still investigating and processing. Meaning to say, that CPIB is FULLY AWARE about this case!

  23. 61 Bluex Spore 19 June 2012 at 18:29

    “Objective”, you can’t tell the difference between the 2 cases? The doctor who knocked down 2 cyclists and was jailed 4 weeks was guilty on 5 charges, “including failing to keep a proper lookout, causing grievious hurt and failing to render assistance to the victims.” He had “suddenly swerved into the cyclists’ lane”, and “collided into the back of the bicycles which Mok and Leong were riding, throwing both men onto the bonnet of his car.” The lorry driver who was jailed 1 week had “made a right turn when the lights turned green and ended up hitting Madam Han Ai Lian”.

    “Objective”, do you have any more examples? Cos the ones you cited are pathetic.

  24. 62 JK 19 June 2012 at 23:46

    Seems as though Singapore has a serious problem with the Doctors not being fit and proper people. What does it take to get struck off here?

    This is what happens if you try this sort of thing in the UK (VIP or not);

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/liberaldemocrats/9306700/Chris-Huhnes-former-wife-to-claim-marital-coercion-over-speeding-fine.html

  25. 63 fish 'n' chips 19 June 2012 at 23:53

    Alex
    very interesting, everyone talk here talk there, but no one tell me what is the name of the car. same car or different cars for the 2 speedings.

  26. 64 Expensive Price 20 June 2012 at 00:09

    Wondering if Mr Kuan still had a valid licence and was he medically fit and capable of driving a car at 95kmh – was the car a high performance sport car? More questions than answers.

  27. 65 Richard Lam 20 June 2012 at 15:37

    Shoddy damage control, reputation-salvaging whitewashes in the Internet age is about as effective as women plotting paternity fraud when there are readily available DNA paternity tests.

    For far too long, the kangaroo courts in Singapore have been pandering to the rich, the well-connected and the ruling elites. Look at Quan Yi Fong (assaulted taxi driver and damaged his belongings), Natasha Wan (girl who beat up four policemen) etc. All let off with nothing more than a wrist slap. This is filthy, this is disgusting, and it throws mockery on the law, the judiciary, and the legal profession. It’s a shame, and in the words of Didier Drogba: it’s a f**king disgrace.

    This was worse in the bad old days when Yong Pung How was the Chief Justice, but that is another topic for another day.

    • 66 yawningbread 20 June 2012 at 22:38

      I have long held the view that Singapore courts are too lenient on violence. On the other hand, they are too strict with transgressions against the dignity of higher-ups, including disobedience of their commands.

  28. 67 Gazebo 21 June 2012 at 01:40

    i really recommend everyone to read Alan Shadrake’s Once a Jolly Hangman. woffles wu’s case is really no different from those cases described in the book.

  29. 68 Ms.Bong 21 June 2012 at 11:09

    I know him as my dad is his patient. He actually very busy and rush, he didnt only do a plastic surgery. He still work for the community. Early in the morning he went for the community service practical. then around 9 he reach his clinic. in the afternoon he went for surgery.
    He is also teaching in some university.

    well, what he is doing is totally wrong, but if you knew him in person, he’s actually a nice decent man.

    • 69 Poker Player 21 June 2012 at 12:26

      “he’s actually a nice decent man.”

      He put himself before a 76 year old innocent man.

      • 70 octopi 22 June 2012 at 09:37

        If he’s a nice decent man, he can just get his 12 points, or push comes to shove, he ends up lying to the police, he can go to jail, and everybody can still weigh up everything else he’s done and conclude that he’s a nice decent man. He has perverted the course of justice not once but twice!

      • 71 Poker Player 22 June 2012 at 12:52

        Impressed as we are about how much Ms. Bong knows about Woffles Wu, lets go back to the point of the article.

        This is not about certain individuals being decent or not. It is human nature to try to get away with what one can get away with – some do this more than others. The point is “there is one law for the rich and powerful and another for ordinary blokes” so some people can get away with more – and we don’t want to be patsies.

  30. 72 patriot 21 June 2012 at 12:26

    Being nice decent man/woman does not
    mean one can lie, cheat or commit offence
    with a sweet smile and be immuned from
    arrangement of Laws, Order and social
    justice.

    patriot

  31. 73 Anonymous 24 June 2012 at 19:48

    So if one is above 80, there is no law for them?

  32. 74 Anon j22W 11 July 2012 at 22:44

    “I have long held the view that Singapore courts are too lenient on violence. On the other hand, they are too strict with transgressions against the dignity of higher-ups, including disobedience of their commands.”

    So true and so prophetic.

  33. 75 ricardo 12 July 2012 at 14:32

    People, are all of you so blind as not to see the true message behind these developments? Let me spell it out for you.

    “Dignity please for our Lord LKY, the HoLee Family, their Ministers & friends. If not, you may win a free extended holiday from the Min. of Love.”

    To quote DPM Teo (Head of MiniLuv), “We torture and imprison you without trial but just get on with your life.”

  34. 76 george 12 July 2012 at 15:03

    Much as I don’t mean anyone ill-will, but I find the letting off of Kuan, WW’s employee, with a warning rather puzzling. If there is any evidence of wrong doing, he should have been charged and given a suspended sentence in view of his age and any other extenuating circumstance.

  35. 77 lobo76 12 July 2012 at 15:40

    Referring to the letter by the ACG, it mentions ‘rash driving’ as a more serious offence. Wouldn’t speed driving be considered as rash driving? Or do you need to hit about a certain speed limit before speed driving becomes rash driving?

  36. 78 Poker Player 12 July 2012 at 16:49

    Uniquely Singaporean. Contempt of court “handled” the same way as civil defamation. Completely oh biang. Oh biang system for oh biang voters

  37. 79 george 12 July 2012 at 17:59

    As a layman I am curious about the AGC coming out now and again to ‘protect’ the judiciary? Is this done independent of the judiciary? Don’t the court itself has the power to decide if something is in comtempt? Is there a part of the process that has not been reported, namely, that the court/judge concerned has first to file a complaint to the AGC to initiate the whole thing?

    The judiciary is independent of the executive to which the AGC is a part of as far as I last checked. Clearly many laymen like me need to be at informally educated/informed on how things work around here with the law. Is there an authoritative Singapore law 101 on sale somewhere?

    • 80 Anon 4tH4 13 July 2012 at 18:30

      yes! see Thio Li-Anns A treatise on singapore consitutional law

    • 81 flyingbobo 13 July 2012 at 18:39

      u should read that book it is a good guide to the rules, principles, procedures, and case law on the delineation of powers between the branches and the reasons for them.

      • 82 flyingbobo 13 July 2012 at 19:06

        Contempt of court is a criminal charge that stems from common law. there must be a prosecution to make the case for the charge to stand. So of course AGC must file and initial criminal proceedings. The AGC cannot be said to be protecting the courts no more than the AGC protects victims of crimes. Of course the court gets to decide whether a comment is a contempt of court as it announces its verdict. It would be really strange, prima facie, if the court files a complain with the AGC for it to bring the accused to it. because then it will be both the complainant and tryer of fact, that would be against natural justice.

        There are many books on the subjects. just go to any friendly law bookshops.

  38. 83 jack 12 July 2012 at 18:07

    I have less respect for the AGC – disgusting folks. Someone should ask them to try sueing all those people talking behind them in the kopitiams.

  39. 84 michael tan 12 July 2012 at 19:33

    I think AGC is VERY VERY kind already. They even bothered to explain and give their reasons. I think we can accept that.

  40. 87 Passerby 12 July 2012 at 23:15

    Just wondering if this will be followed by a spike in new readers to the site. The AGC might have thought they have succeeded in defending their integrity, but Alex was merely saying what the average Singapore thinks. And compelling him to retract his post and apologise isn’t going to soothe doubts about the judicial system from those who already hold that opinion. All it does is give Alex more publicity, and more street cred, maybe?

    • 88 yawningbread 12 July 2012 at 23:29

      Thursday’s number of visits to this site shot up three times from normal.

      • 89 You See 13 July 2012 at 10:55

        Streisand effect. Good publicity for your blog.
        By the way have AGC found out who is behind the wheel of the speeding car? I last read that the case has not been fully concluded. Will there be more charges against Woffles? I would like to see justice being done.

      • 90 octopi 15 July 2012 at 14:33

        I think one big issue behind the leniency on Woffles Wu is that they “have not proven beyond reasonable doubt” that Woffles Wu was the guy speeding. So even though everybody thinks he is, you cannot apply the law on him as though he were the one speeding and were getting somebody to take the rap for him. You have not disproven that this second guy is covering up for a third guy who was driving the car and speeding, whereas in the other cases where people were sentenced to jail, the court has made a statement on who the perpetrator is. And so the “innocent until proven guilty” principle applies.

        Common sense will tell you that unless you catch a guy red-handed, it is really difficult to ascertain who’s behind the wheel of a car at a given point in time, especially when that point in time is 7 years in the past.

      • 91 octopi 15 July 2012 at 16:01

        To elaborate: If the 80 year old guy said he was driving that car at that time, and it was shown that he was not driving the car, you can say he’s lying.

        If Woffles Wu was driving the car at that time and he says that the 80 year old guy was driving the car, then you know he’s lying.

        But if Woffles Wu was not driving the car, and he says that the 80 year old guy was driving the car, you cannot say that he’s lying. Therefore if you can’t prove that Woffles Wu was the driver, you can’t prove that he’s lying.

        Of course, this line of argument is open to a new line of attack. And of course, the AGC cannot possibly make a comment on whether he was the one speeding because there is a court case pending. As such the impropriety of this becomes: why did they not ascertain in court whether he was speeding first, before they tried him for making a false report?

        When you take this case on its own merits, I feel that this matter is very grey. It could still be possible that the AGC was a little biased towards him but I don’t think this is the smoking gun that Choo Zheng Xi makes it out to be. My view is that both sides made mistakes in this affair.

    • 92 flyingbobo 13 July 2012 at 18:52

      hello?? i dont think u understand what ure talking abt! The availability of the charge of contempt of court defends the courts integrity not AGC’s! you cannot deny that Alex has indeed been scandalising our judicial system and without basis at all. We need to ensure that our courts are respected, if u have suspicious, prove it. if u cant, then dont stir up doubt in other people and get them to subscribe to some conspiracy theory. Some people just want to watch the world burn.

  41. 93 Pauls 13 July 2012 at 02:13

    People who don’t want to be held in contempt shouldn’t behave in a way that invites contempt, including behaving like a thin-skinned bully. Forcing someone to apologise doesn’t restore anyone’s faith in the system; quite the opposite.

  42. 94 george 13 July 2012 at 12:24

    I absolutely agree with you Pauls.

    The govt is still living by the LKY ‘doctrine’ of using the court to silence people who don’t agree with it. By going at Alex, the govt is saying loud and clear to us that the points he has raised have merits. Just as LKY had been thrashing JBJ and Chee as he knew they were telling the truth and so reacted like a wild animal defending its lair.

  43. 95 Anon 1B94 13 July 2012 at 12:42

    Are you sure the letter is authentic? Perhaps it’s a prank?

  44. 96 Makan Time 15 July 2012 at 00:38

    Well, he’s certainly painted himself in a worse light through this letter. It’s like a big red warning sign screaming “Don’t you dare hold our client in contempt because he’s NOT guilty.”

    The letter is really heavy-handed and leaves no room for discussion.

    • 97 octopi 15 July 2012 at 14:35

      It’s really heavy handed. If they had sent him a letter, forced him to publish it, extracted an apology but nevertheless allowed him to keep his blog post up, it would have been much better PR.


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For an update of the case against me, please see AGC versus me, the 2013 round.

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