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Judicial CP - July 1998

Straits Times, Singapore, 3 July 1998

These 6 were caned for hiring illegals

SIX men have so far been caned for hiring illegal workers. The police gave this update, and issued a fresh warning yesterday to those who harbour or hire illegal immigrants

Police spokesman ASP John Chang said: "The police will continue to sustain our enforcement action against illegal immigrants.

"We will continue to focus our operations at places where the illegal immigrants work, stay, hide or congregate. In particular, we will continue to target employers and harbourers in our raids," he said.

The six cases released by the police all involved men. The guilty employers were aged between 25 and 43.

Except for two cases, all the errant employers were sentenced last year: Jan 3, 1997: Sub-contractor Law Boon Leong, 43, was jailed for 100 weeks and caned three times for hiring seven Chinese illegal immigrants at a Bukit Batok construction site; April 23, 1997: Chew Keng Sai, 36, was jailed for six months and caned three times for hiring two Myanmar and five Thai illegals at a Telok Blangah petrol station; June 27, 1997: P. Pari Nathan, 34, was jailed 18 months and caned three times for employing 17 Myanmar nationals as coffeeshop assistants at a Jurong West food court; June 30, 1997: General contractor Chng Lai Seng, 35, was jailed six months and caned three times for hiring eight Thai illegal immigrants at a Simei construction site; March 2, 1998: B. Andrew Sivanesan, 25, was jailed for 30 months and caned three times for hiring 12 illegal immigrants as cleaners at Lau Pa Sat food centre; March 2, 1998: Sivanesan's accomplice, cleaning contractor Lorudes Leo Joseph, 39, was also jailed for a total of 90 months and given three strokes of the cane.

The six errant employers were responsible for hiring a total of 51 illegal immigrants, mostly from Myanmar and Thailand.

ASP Chang added: "It is a serious offence to employ or harbour illegal immigrants. Those convicted of harbouring or employing illegal immigrants face jail terms, fines and even mandatory caning. The police have repeatedly warned that it is an offence to harbour or employ illegal immigrants.

"Without those who provide refuge and those who employ the illegal immigrants, we believe there will be little reason for illegal immigrants to come to Singapore. As long as our warnings are not heeded, the police will continue to focus our operations against employers and harbourers."

The New Paper, Singapore, 9 July 1998

The Young and the Lawless

Mak Kian Chye

Ong Hui Shang


Mak and Ong pleaded guilty to two charges of robbery and one charge of rioting each in court on Tuesday. District Judge Seng Kwang Boon sentenced Mak to seven years' jail and 24 strokes of the cane for the three charges against him.

The judge called for a reformative training report on Ong.

Ang had previously been sentenced to 75 months' jail and 24 strokes of the cane.

The case against the 15-year-old boy, who cannot be named because of his age, will be heard in a juvenile court.

We're from CID. We've to do a check on you.
Ok, you can go. But leave your phone and wallet here.

There's one good thing about these guys. They can't rob, assault and terrorise people now. Or pretend to be cops. DANNY LIM reports on what these youngsters were up to before the law caught up with them.

Jul 9, 1998


That's what a 15-year-old boy and his three friends told Kong Kok Weng, 15, a student, when they took his wallet.

And to back up their claim, they grabbed his handphone and pretended to call somebody to check if he had a criminal record.

Okay, you are clean. Scram, but leave your handphone and wallet with us, Kok Weng was told.

The group - Mak Kian Chye, 21, Ong Hui Shang, 16, Ang Kwang Lim, 17, and the boy - decided to rob Kok Weng after they spotted him walking along the basement of Bugis Junction around 8 pm on May 24.

Mak grabbed him by the shoulder, took his handphone and led him to Block 405 in Victoria Street.

There, the 15-year-old boy claimed he was from the Criminal Investigation Department.

He took Kok Weng's wallet containing $17, and pretended to check if he has a criminal record.

The boy then returned Kok Weng's identity card and bus pass, and told him to leave.

But Kok Weng insisted that they return his Ericsson handphone, worth $388.

The group then led him into a lift, where he got punched and kicked.

And he also lost his gold chain worth $150, two rings worth a total of $200, and a $200 Ferragamo belt.

They then left him at the 10th storey and escaped.


THE 15-year-old boy, Ong and Ang were also charged with beating up Mr Tan Yin Leng, 22.

Mr Tan went to visit his girlfriend at her North Bridge Road flat on May 3.

He saw them and another three friends sniffing glue with her. She started to undress, and hugged and kissed one of the boys.

Mr Tan got angry, slapped her and asked her to leave.

The group then attacked him. One of them hit him with a chair.

Mr Tan, injured on the head and chest, escaped when an old woman passed by and distracted the group.


THE group had also robbed teenagers on several other occasions.

Once, they told a schoolboy that they were convinced he was a member of a secret society.

The gang got hold of the boy in Crawford Lane on May 24.

They then stripped him of his Burberrys long-sleeved shirt worth $110 to "check" if he had any tattoos on his back.

They punched him in the face and made off with his shirt and a Burberrys belt worth $100.

The Electric New Paper. Copyright 1998
Singapore Press Holdings. All Rights Reserved.

Straits Times, Singapore, 17 July 1998

Man who tried to stop a fight beaten to death

Four convicted of causing grievous hurt in an incident arising from an argument over a game machine

A MAN who tried to stop an assault that began with a quarrel between an employee of an amusement arcade and a patron of the arcade was hit repeatedly with a stool and died of a broken skull. The incident on Nov 24 last year was captured in a video clip. Four men, including a father and his son, were charged with murdering the man originally, but they were convicted instead yesterday of grievously hurting the victim, 19-year-old national serviceman Yong Chin Keong. The stage was the Paco Funworld Amusement Arcade in the Jurong East Entertainment Centre.

A customer had complained rudely to a Paco employee that the machine would not start though he had put a token in. Crew leader Muhammed Faizal Mohammed Taib, 23, intervened and told the customer to go with him to the toilet.

Mr Ong Chew Nam, 21, a salesman who was a friend of the customer, went with them. Inside, Faizal beat up Mr Ong and told him he was not afraid of the "Hai Kim" secret society. The gang operates in the neighbourhood.

The Paco management sought to transfer Faizal to another outlet but he resigned. On learning of this, his father, freelance rigger Mohamed Taib Salleh, 46, rounded up his friends, businessman Muslim Mohamed Ali, 27, and national serviceman Mohammad Fazli Mesdar, 22, and went to Paco on Nov 27 with Faizal to see the management.

There, Faizal saw Mr Ong and told him to go to the toilet for "settlement talks". Faizal's group beat off Mr Ong's friends when they tried to help him.

The five were leaving when Mr Yong came up with three friends and urged them not to fight, but Faizal punched him on the face and he fell. The others continued to hit him as he lay on the ground. Mr Yong died on Dec 2 last year. Faizal, his father, Muslim and Fazli admitted being with a fifth man, who is at large, to hurt Mr Ong, a salesman, and Gi Hai Kim secret society members that day.

District Judge Daniel Koh, who saw the five-minute video clip, singled out Faizal as the ringleader and sentenced him to two years' jail plus 12 strokes of the cane.

Mohamed Taib and Fazli were each sentenced to two years' jail and six strokes, while Muslim got 30 months and six strokes as he has previous convictions. They could each have been jailed for up to seven years and fined or caned for causing grievous hurt.

Straits Times, Singapore, 23 July 1998

Paedophile gets jail, cane for molesting boy

A PAEDOPHILE, posing as a counsellor, molested a schoolboy twice in less than two hours at the staircase of an HDB apartment block.

Koh Gim Peng, 25, a programme assistant, was sentenced to six years' jail and 10 strokes of the cane on Tuesday.

On April 15, he led the 13-year-old boy to the second-level staircase of Block 178, Toa Payoh Central, and asked him if he had any problems.

When the boy said no, he asked about his friends and activities.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Brenton Wu said that Koh then led the boy to the staircase and up to the second level.

There, he talked to the boy about masturbation.

He became aroused, told the victim to sit on his lap, and molested him.

Then a woman walked by and he took the boy up the stairs to the third level. There, he repeated what he had done earlier.

But when police corporal Kamal Kamis came by, Koh, who was sitting on the steps, withdrew his hand quickly and told the boy to zip up.

Pressing for a deterrent sentence, DPP Wu told District Judge Adrian Soon Kim Kwee that Koh had tarnished the image of counsellors. He had faced 14 charges of outraging of modesty between 1992 and 1995.

DPP Wu urged the court to remove him for a long period to protect the young and vulnerable.

A medical report said that Koh suffers from homosexual paedophilia.

He was sentenced to six years and five strokes of the cane on each charge. He could have been jailed for up to 10 years and caned.

Straits Times, Singapore, 24 July 1998

Youth jailed for sex with minor

He gets 2 years' jail for this and another 3 years' jail and 12 strokes of the cane for robbery last year

By Lim Seng Jin

A FULL-TIME national serviceman with the Vigilante Corps had sex with a 14-year-old girl early one morning when she was asleep.

Then, seven months later, after completing his national service, Lee Hock Seng, 22, and an accomplice robbed four taxi drivers of cash and valuables worth $1,600. Yesterday, he was sentenced to a total of six years' jail and ordered to be caned. Lee was charged originally with raping the girl, but this was later reduced to having sex with a minor. For that charge, he was given 2 years' jail; and for robbing a taxi driver of a cellular phone worth $1,000, he was sentenced to 3 years' jail and the minimum 12 strokes of the cane.

Three other charges of robbing taxi drivers were considered during sentencing.

The court heard that in May last year, the girl, who is a student and friend of Lee, told him that she had family problems and had nowhere to spend the night.

He offered to let her stay at his brother's flat. When they got there, she took six Erimin sleeping tablets that he gave her, and went to sleep. But she woke up later when she felt a sharp pain.

She found herself naked, with Lee on the bed having sex with her. She then pushed him away, put on her clothes and went back to sleep.

The following month, she told a counsellor at a girls' home where she was placed, about the incident. The girl's mother made a police report later.

Then, on Dec 24 last year, Lee, with the help of another man, Low Cheng Teck, 25, robbed four taxi drivers.

Low, who had threatened one of the cabbies by pointing a paper-cutter at his neck, was sentenced to four years' jail and the minimum 12 strokes of the cane on April 3 for armed robbery.

Straits Times, Singapore, 26 July 1998

Hardcore addicts face jail and cane

Unrepentant drug abusers will now serve long jail terms and be caned instead of being sent back to Drug Rehabilitation Centres or just fined

By Chong Chee Kin

ADDICTS of heroin, opium and morphine who refuse to kick the drug habit will now face long jail terms and be caned, the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) announced yesterday. They will no longer be sent back to Drug Rehabilitation Centres (DRCs) or just fined.

Mr Muhammad Azni Sarbini, CNB assistant director of intelligence, said that Singapore still faced a serious problem of unrepentant drug abusers, although the overall drug situation is under control.

Hardcore addicts include:

Those convicted at least twice before for opiate consumption.

Those convicted at least once before for opiate consumption and once for failing to provide a urine sample for testing,

Those admitted into DRCs at least twice before.

Such offenders will now receive mandatory jail terms of up to 13 years and 12 strokes of the cane.

The new law took effect on July 20, and covers those with the relevant CNB records from Oct 1, 1992.

Mr Muhammad told The Sunday Times that more than 60 per cent of drug abusers who received DRC treatment last year would have received mandatory jail terms and caning if the new law had been in place then.

More hardcore addicts are expected to be arrested, which is why a detention centre at St John's Island is being set up to help cope with housing requirements in case there is a spillover from prisons on the mainland.

Between last Monday and Friday, CNB officers arrested 28 hardcore addicts aged between 24 and 57, who all face penalties under the new law.

Among them was an addict who had been admitted into DRCs six times before.

Mr Muhammad said: "These hardcore addicts are always out there to contaminate others, turning to crime in order to support their habit."

"So our message to them is clear: It doesn't pay to fool with drugs."

Straits Times, Singapore, 29 July 1998

Posed as cop to rob foreigners

A MAN posed as a police officer, by using a friend's Vigilante Corps security pass, to rob two foreigners in April.

He was jailed yesterday for a total of six years and ordered to be given 24 strokes of the cane for robbery and impersonation.

Food stall assistant Teo Teck Huat, 23, robbed Mr Mohamed Ali Ahmad, 46, a Malaysian farmer on holiday here, and Australian Christopher Robins Wade, 25.

His accomplice, Wee Siew Cheng, 20, is serving a 5 -year jail term and was ordered to be given 24 strokes.

Teo admitted pretending to be a policeman when he searched Mr Wade in front of Tanglin Shopping Centre on April 22. He took the man's wallet and personal belongings including his Mastercard and Visa cards, and intimidated him into telling him the PINs for the credit cards. Wee spoke to Mr Wade on Teo's mobile phone, identified himself as a sergeant and told him to hand over his things.

The next day, Teo used the same approach to rob Mr Mohamed Ali at the Orchard Road MRT underpass of a bag containing $72, foreign currencies totalling $2,520, keys, a bank book, a $150 watch and $2,500 worth of jewellery.

Teo was looking for a taxi for Mr Mohamed Ali when the police came and arrested him. Wee was arrested later.

Two other charges were considered in sentencing.

Straits Times, Singapore, 31 July 1998

Two drug addicts first to get cane

Two drug addicts are the first to be dealt with under the new Misuse of Drugs Act. Both were sentenced to jail and caning for taking drugs

By Elena Chong

TWO hardcore drug addicts became the first to be dealt with under stricter new laws for repeat offenders.

While their sentences were at the lower end of the scale of punishment, Senior District Judge Richard Magnus warned that the court would not hesitate to move to the upper end should such offences increase, or if offenders have bad criminal records.

Addicts Mohamed Amin Abdullah, alias Alvin Henry Lesslar, 38, and Taib Ibrahim, 42, who are both unemployed, are the first to be sentenced to be caned under the recently-amended Misuse of Drugs Act, for taking morphine.

Both have been to drug rehabilitation centres twice -- in 1993 and 1995 -- and were arrested on July 20 for taking drugs and failing to report for their urine tests.

Mohamed Amin was sentenced to the minimum of five years' jail and the maximum of six strokes of the cane for consuming morphine.

He could have been jailed for up to seven years.

He was jailed three months each on three charges of failing to report for urine tests on July 13, 15 and 17. Two of the three-month jail terms will run consecutively with the five years, making his sentence a total of 5 years' jail and six strokes of the cane.

Taib was given the minimum five years and three strokes for taking morphine; one year for having a straw of 0.07 g of heroin at Block 58, Commonwealth Drive that day; and three months each for failing to give his urine samples on July 1, 8 and 15.

Four of the sentences are consecutive which means he will serve a total of 6 years and get three strokes.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Ravneet Kaur told the court that the minimum penalty prescribed for hardcore addicts reflected Parliament's intention to treat these offenders as criminals, who inflict grave hardship not only on themselves but also on their families and society.

Long-term imprisonment and mandatory caning are meant for such addicts who repeatedly relapse despite having been treated or punished for taking drugs.

There was a need to put hardcore addicts away for a long time to stop them from continuing their habit, influencing the innocent and perpetuating a drug culture.

More than 70 per cent of hardcore addicts have other criminal records and such abusers were a menace to society, she said.

Senior District Judge Magnus noted that both men had been abusing drugs since 1977, and had been treated and placed under drug supervision for 16 years and 18 years respectively.

Their latest offences were no aberration, he said, "but a continuing attitude of disobedience to the law".

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