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Singapore: Judicial and prison caning

Table of offences for which caning is available

Updated to mid-2011




OFFENCES FOR WHICH JUDICIAL CANING IS AVAILABLE IN SINGAPORE

Note: Where a minimum number of strokes is stated, caning is mandatory for that offence.


Drugs offences

Minimum strokes Maximum strokes * Offence Legislation Year enacted
2 15 Trafficking of a minimum quantity of drugs 35 and 33 Misuse of Drugs Act 1973
5 15 Unauthorised import or export of drugs S7 and 33 Misuse of Drugs Act 1973
3 12 Repeat consumption of specified drugs S33A Misuse of Drugs Act 1998
5 15 Unauthorised manufacture of drugs Misuse of Drugs Act 1973

Robbery and other property offences

Minimum strokes Maximum strokes * Offence Legislation Year enacted
Nil 24 Piratical acts S130C Penal Code 1973
12 24 Piracy S130B Penal Code 1993
12 24 Robbery S392 Penal Code 1871; mandatory (6 strokes) 1973; increased to 12 strokes 1984 if committed after 7pm and before 7am
12 24 Voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery S394 Penal Code 1871; mandatory (6 strokes) 1973; increased to 12 strokes 1984
12 24 Gang robbery S395 Penal Code 1871; mandatory (6 strokes) 1973; increased to 12 strokes 1984
12 24 Gang robbery with murder S396 Penal Code 1871; mandatory (10 strokes) in 1973; increased to 12 strokes in 1984
12 24 Robbery when armed or with attempt to cause death or grievous hurt S397 Penal code 1871; mandatory (10 strokes) in 1973; increased to 12 strokes in 1984
12 24 Making preparation to commit gang robbery S399 Penal code 1871; mandatory (6 strokes) in 1973; increased to 12 strokes in 1984
6 24 Attempt to commit robbery S393 Penal Code 1959; mandatory (4 strokes) in 1973; increased to 6 strokes in 1984
6 24 Belonging to gang of robbers S400 Penal code 1871; mandatory in 1973
4 24 Belonging to wandering gang of thieves S401 Penal Code 1973
4 24 Assembling for the purpose of committing gang robbery S402 Penal Code 1973
3 24 Theft after preparation made for causing death or hurt in order to commit theft S378 and 382 Penal Code 1973
1 24 Lurking house trespass or house breaking by night after preparation made for causing hurt S443-46 and 458 Penal Code 1871, made mandatory in 1984
1 24 Subsequent offence of

(a) lurking house trespass or house breaking in order to commit and offence punishable by imprisonment, or

(b) lurking house trespass by night or housebreaking by night in order to commit an offence punishable by imprisonment

S458A Penal Code 1984
1 24 Grievous hurt caused while committing lurking house trespass or house breaking S459 Penal Code 1871, made mandatory in 1984

Weapons and explosives offences

Minimum strokes Maximum strokes * Offence Legislation Year enacted
6 24 Unlawful possession of arms or ammunition S3 Arms Offences Act 1973
6 24 Trafficking in arms S6 Arms Offences Act 1973
6 24 Possession of corrosive or explosive substance for the purpose of causing hurt S3 Corrosive and Explosive Substances and Offensive Weapons Act 1973
6 24 Using a corrosive or explosive substance or offensive weapon S4 Corrosive and Explosive Substances and Offensive Weapons Act 1973
6 24 Consorting with persons carrying corrosive or explosive weapon S5 Corrosive and Explosive Substances and Offensive Weapons Act 1973
6 24 Carrying offensive weapon in a public place S6 Corrosive and Explosive Substances and Offensive Weapons Act 1973
6 24 Offences relating to scheduled weapons S7 Corrosive and Explosive Substances and Offensive Weapons Act 1973
6 24 Consorting with persons carrying offensive weapons in public places S3 Corrosive and Explosive Substances and Offensive Weapons Act 1973
3 24 Exhibiting imitation arms when committing scheduled offence S8 Arms Offences Act 1973
Nil 24 Possession of arms, explosives or poisonous gas for the purpose of committing an offence under the Penal Code S13 Arms and Explosives Act 1952
Nil 24 Causing explosion likely to endanger life and property S3 Explosive Substances Act 1970
Nil 24 Attempt to cause explosion, or making or keeping explosives with intent to endanger life or property S4 Explosive Substances Act 1970
Nil 24 Making or possessing explosives under suspicious circumstances S5 Explosive Substances Act 1970
Nil 24 Abetment of above three offences S6 Explosive Substances Act  
Nil 24 Using offensive weapons, explosive, corrosive or inflammable substances S22 Public Order (Preservation) Act 1958
Nil 24 Consorting with person using offensive weapons, explosive, corrosive or inflammable substances S23 Public Order (Preservation) Act 1958
Nil 24 Carrying, etc., offensive weapons, explosive, corrosive or inflammable substances in a proclaimed area S24 Public Order (Preservation) Act 1958
1 6 Sale, transport, delivery, distribution or import of fireworks S4 Dangerous Fireworks Act 1988
1 6 Second or subsequent offence of discharge of fireworks S6 Dangerous Fireworks Act 1988

Immigration offences

Minimum strokes Maximum strokes * Offence Legislation Year enacted
3 24 Entering or remaining in Singapore without a valid pass S6, 11A Immigration Act 1989
3 24 Illegal overstayers for a period exceeding 90 days S15 Immigration Act 1989
3 24 Engaged in business of conveying into Singapore and prohibited immigrant S57(c) Immigration Act 1989
3 24 Knowingly employing more than 5 illegal immigrants S57(e) Immigration Act 1989

Offences relating to financial affairs

Minimum strokes Maximum strokes * Offence Legislation Year enacted
1 24 Extortion S383 and 384 Penal Code 1954, made mandatory in 1984
1 24 Extortion by putting a person in fear of harm S385 Penal code 2007
1 24 Putting person in fear of death or grievous hurt in order to commit extortion S386 Penal Code 1954
Nil 24 Extortion by threat of accusation of an offence punishable with death or imprisonment, etc. S388 Penal code 1954
Nil 24 Putting a person in fear of accusation of an offence, in order to commit extortion S389 Penal Code 1954
Nil 12 Unlicensed moneylending S14 Moneylenders Act 2008
3 18 Harassing borrower S28 Moneylenders Act 2005

Sexual offences

Minimum strokes Maximum strokes * Offence Legislation Year enacted
Nil 24 Rape S375+ Penal code 1871
12 24 Voluntarily causing hurt or putting person in fear of death or hurt in order to commit rape; or statutory rape of a woman under 14 years of age S376 Penal Code 1871 (1984)
1 24 Voluntarily causing or attempting to cause death, hurt or wrongful restraint in order to outrage modesty S354A(1) Penal Code 1871
Nil 24 Assault or use of criminal force to a person with intent to outrage modesty S354 Penal Code 1860
1 24 Assault or use of criminal force to a person with intent to outrage modesty in a lift or against any person under 14 years of age S354A(2) Penal code 1984
Nil 24 Sexual penetration of a corpse S377 Penal code 2007
Nil 24 Sexual penetration with a living animal S377B Penal code 2007
Nil 24 Second or subsequent offence relating to prostitution S140(2) Women's Charter 1961
Nil 24 Second or subsequent offence of living on or trading in prostitution S146(2) Women's Charter 1961
Nil 24 Sexual penetration without consent S376 Penal Code 2007
12 24 Sexual penetration of a minor S376A Penal Code 2007

Public order offences

Minimum strokes Maximum strokes * Offence Legislation Year enacted
Nil 24 Rioting S146 + 147 Penal code 1973
Nil 24 Rioting armed with a deadly weapon S148 Penal Code 1973
3 8 Vandalism (writing, drawing, painting marking or inscribing on any public or private property without permission and stealing destroying or damaging any public property) S3 Vandalism Act 1966
Nil 24 Every member of an unlawful assembly shall be deemed guilty of rioting if committed in prosecution of a common object S149 Penal Code  
Nil 24 Joining an unlawful assembly armed with a deadly weapon S144 Penal Code 2008
Nil 24 Person who hires, or connives at hiring, others to join an unlawful assembly punishable as a member of such unlawful assembly S150 Penal Code  

Offences against the person

Minimum strokes Maximum strokes * Offence Legislation Year enacted
Nil 24 Culpable homicide not amounting to murder S299 + 304 Penal Code 1860
Nil 24 Attempt to murder S307 Penal Code 1973
Nil 24 Attempt to commit culpable homicide S308 Penal Code 2007
Nil 24 Assault or criminal force in committing or attempting to commit theft of property carried by a person S356 Penal Code 1871
Nil 24 Voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means S324 Penal Code 1973
Nil 24 Voluntarily causing hurt to extort confession or to compel restoration of property S330, 331 Penal Code 1973, 2007
Nil 24 Voluntarily causing grievous hurt S325 Penal Code 1973
Nil 24 Voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means S326 Penal Code 1973
Nil 24 Voluntarily causing hurt to extort property or to constrain to an illegal act S329 Penal Code 1871
Nil 24 Voluntarily causing grievous hurt to extort a confession or to compel restoration of property S331 Penal Code 1973
Nil 24 Voluntarily causing hurt to deter a public servant from his duty S332 Penal Code 1973
Nil 24 Voluntarily causing grievous hurt to deter a public servant from his duty S333 Penal Code 1973
Nil 24 Causing hurt by means of poison, etc., with intent to commit an offence S328 Penal Code 2008

Kidnapping offences

Minimum strokes Maximum strokes * Offence Legislation Year enacted
Nil 24 Kidnapping S359+363 Penal code 1958
Nil 24 Kidnapping or abducting in order to murder S364 Penal Code 1958
Nil 24 Kidnapping or abducting with intent secretly and wrongfully to confine a person S365 Penal code 1958
Nil 24 Kidnapping or abducting a woman to compel her to marriage etc. S366 Penal code 1958
Nil 24 Kidnapping or abducting in order to subject a person to grievous hurt, slavery etc. S367 Penal code 1958
Nil 24 Wrongfully concealing or keeping in confinement a kidnapped person S368 Penal code 1958
Nil 24 Kidnapping or abducting a child under 10 years with intent to steal movable property from the person of such child S369 Penal code 1958
Nil 24 Abduction, wrongful restraint or wrongful confinement for ransom S3 Kidnapping Act 1961
Nil 24 Knowingly receiving ransom S4 Kidnapping Act 1961
Nil 24 Knowingly negotiating to obtain ransom S5 (1) Kidnapping Act 1961
Nil 24 Hostage-taking Hostage-taking Act 2010

Transport offences

Minimum strokes Maximum strokes * Offence Legislation Year enacted
Nil 24 Intentionally obstructing railway engine or carriages or endangering safety of passengers S86 Railways Act 1905
Nil 24 Wilful act or omission endangering railway passengers S87 Railways Act 1905
Nil 6 Third or subsequent offence of reckless driving, drunken driving or driving while under suspension if death or serious injury is caused S67A Road Traffic Act 1993

* Note that the maximum number of strokes of caning, unless fixed in the particular Act imposing the punishment, is 24 strokes by virtue of S229(1) of the Criminal Procedure Code




DISCIPLINARY OFFENCES IN PRISON

Min Max Prison offence Act Year Enacted
Nil 12 (or 24*) Punishment by Superintendent of aggravated offences

The following are deemed to be aggravated prison offences:

(1) mutiny;

(2) escape or attempt to escape;

(3) taking part in any assault or attack on any officer;

(4) aggravated or repeated assault on any other prisoner;

(5) wilful destruction of prison property;

(6) wilfully causing to himself any illness, injury or disability;

(7) wilfully making a false or groundless accusation or complaint against any officer or prisoner;

(7A) any act constituting a minor prison offence under section 72, committed by one or more members or associates of a secret society in connection with the activities of any secret society;

(8) repetition of any minor prison offence(+) after having been twice punished for the same minor offence;

(9) failure by a prisoner subject to a home detention order under section 52 to report to such person and at such times and place as may be specified under the conditions of the order;

(10) where a prisoner subject to a home detention order under section 52 is required under the conditions of the order to allow the Superintendent or any person authorised by the Superintendent to enter his place of residence, or any other place or places designated under the order, the refusal by the prisoner to allow the entry, or obstructing or hindering the entry, of such person;

(11) any other act of gross misconduct or insubordination;

(12) abetting the commission of any aggravated prison offence.

+ Minor offences comprise

(1) talking during working hours, or talking loudly, laughing or singing at any time after having been ordered by an officer of the prison to desist;

(2) quarrelling with any other prisoner;

(3) secreting any article whatever;

(4) showing disrespect to any officer or official visitor;

(5) common assault or taking part in any attack on any other prisoner;

(6) answering untruthfully any question put by an officer or an official visitor;

(7) holding any communication (in writing, by word of mouth, or otherwise) with any person in disobedience of the regulations of the prison;

(8) abetting the commission of any minor prison offence;

(9) omitting to assist in the maintenance of discipline by reporting any prison offence, or to give assistance to an officer when called on to do so;

(10) doing any act or using any language calculated to wound or offend the feelings and prejudices of any other prisoner;

(11) doing any act calculated to create any unnecessary alarm in the minds of the prisoners or officers;

(12) leaving without permission of an officer the group to which he is attached, or the part of the prison in which he is confined;

(13) leaving without permission of an officer the ward, the yard, the place in file, the seat or berth assigned to him;

(14) loitering about the yards or lingering in the wards when these are open;

(15) omitting or refusing to march in file when moving about the prison or proceeding to or returning from work;

(16) visiting the toilets without permission of an officer or remaining there longer than is necessary;

(17) refusing to eat the meals provided;

(18) eating or appropriating any food not assigned to him or taking from or adding to the portions assigned to other prisoners;

(19) removing without permission of an officer food from the cook-room or from the place where meals are served, or disobeying any order as to the issue and distribution of food and drink;

(20) wilfully destroying food or throwing it away without orders;

(21) introducing into food or drink anything likely to render it unpalatable or unwholesome;

(22) omitting or refusing to wear the clothing given to him, or exchanging any portion of it for the clothing of other prisoners, or losing, discarding, damaging or altering any part of it;

(23) removing, defacing or altering any distinctive number, mark or badge attached to, or worn on, the clothing or person;

(24) omitting or refusing to keep the person clean, or disobeying any order regulating the cutting of hair;

(25) omitting or refusing to keep clothing, blankets, bedding, fetters, or utensils clean, or disobeying any order as to the arrangement or disposition of such articles;

(26) tampering in any way with prison locks, lamps or lights or other property with which he has no concern;

(27) stealing the prison clothing or any part of the prison kit of any other prisoner;

(28) committing a nuisance in any part of the prison;

(29) spitting on or otherwise soiling any floor, door, wall or other part of the prison building or any article in the prison;

(30) wilfully befouling the toilets, washing or bathing places;

(31) damaging the trees within the enclosure of the prison;

(32) omitting or refusing to take due care of all prison property entrusted to him;

(33) omitting or refusing to take due care of, or injuring, or misappropriating, the materials and implements entrusted to him for work;

(34) omitting to report at once any loss, breakage or damage which he may have caused to prison property or implements;

(35) manufacturing any article without the knowledge or permission of an officer;

(36) performing any portion of the task allotted to another prisoner, or obtaining the assistance of another prisoner in the performance of his own task;

(37) appropriating any portion of the task performed by another prisoner;

(38) mixing or adding any foreign substance to the materials issued for work;

(39) cursing or swearing, or using indecent, violent, threatening or insulting language;

(40) causing or omitting to assist in suppressing violence or insubordination of any kind;

(41) immoral, disorderly or indecent behaviour;

(42) omitting or refusing to help any prison officer in case of an attempted escape or of an attack upon such officer or upon another prisoner;

(43) disobeying any lawful order of an officer;

(44) idling or refusing to work or showing negligence in the performance of his allotted task;

(45) defacing or damaging the walls, furniture or other property of the prison;

(46) malingering;

(47) refusing to undergo medical treatment;

(48) any breach by a prisoner subject to a home detention order under section 52 of the conditions of the order other than conduct constituting an aggravated prison offence specified in section 73;

(49) any other act, conduct, disorder or neglect to the prejudice of good order or discipline though not specified in the preceding paragraphs.

S.71 Prisons Act: * Note that under s74 if the Superintendent feels that 12 strokes are inadequate, he may refer the matter to the Visiting Justice who may impose up to 24 strokes

S72 Prisons Act

1871
    ARMED FORCES OFFENCES *Note that a subordinate military court may impose a maximum of 12 strokes of the cane  
Nil 12 Disobedience of or non-compliance with lawful orders, etc. S17 + 118(5) Singapore Armed Forces Act 1975
Nil 12 Insubordinate behaviour S19 + 118(5) Singapore Armed Forces Act 1975
Nil 12 Disobedience of general orders S21 + 118(5) Singapore Armed Forces Act 1975
Nil 12 Absence without leave S22 + 118(5) Singapore Armed Forces Act 1975
Nil 12 Desertion S23 + 118(5) Singapore Armed Forces Act 1975
Nil 12 Escape and permitting escape and unlawful release from custody S47 + 118(5) Singapore Armed Forces Act 1975
Nil 12 Aggravated disciplinary barrack offences

(namely)—

(a) mutiny as defined in section 15;

(b) escape or attempt to escape;

(c) striking or otherwise using violence to, or offering violence to, any person superior in rank or on the staff of the disciplinary barrack;

(d) aggravated or repeated assault on any other person serving special detention in a disciplinary barrack;

(e) wilful destruction of Singapore Armed Forces property;

(f) wilfully causing self-illness, self-injury or disability;

(g) wilfully making a false or groundless complaint against any person superior in rank or on the staff of the disciplinary barrack;

(h) repetition of any minor disciplinary barrack offence after having been twice punished for such minor offence;

(i) any other act of gross misconduct or insubordination; or

(j) abetting the commission of any aggravated disciplinary barrack offence.

S119  Singapore Armed Forces Act 1975
    DRUG REHABILITATION CENTRE OFFENCES    
Nil   Regulations providing for the control, discipline and occupation of inmates of drug rehabilitation centres S43(o) Misuse of Drugs Act 1990


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