THE TEMASEK TIMES

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Law Minister defends Woffles Wu’s ‘lenient’ sentence: A fine is “within the norm of usual sentences”

Posted by temasektimes on June 16, 2012

Law Minister Shanmugam has weighed in on the recent controversy surrounding the case of prominent plastic surgeon Woffles Wu who was only fined $1,000 for asking his employee to take the rap for his speeding offence instead of the usual jail term.

A 51 year old sales executive Charlie Lim Chau Lee was jailed for six months for asking others to take the blame for his traffic offence in September 2010. (read more here)

The shocking verdict caused an outcry among Singaporeans including PAP MP Hri Kumar Nair, a lawyer by profession who blogged:

“I must admit I was surprised by the fine of $1,000 imposed on Woffles Woo for paying someone to take a speeding rap for him. Such offences are undoubtedly serious, as they seek to undermine the course of justice. Others who have committed similar offences have been jailed.”

However, Mr Shanmugam does not share his views and told reporters on the sideline of a community event today that a fine is apparently “within the norm of usual sentences” under that charge.

Mr Shanmugam further claimed that fines are more commonly meted out in such cases without providing any statistics to substantiate them.

He added that Mr Kuan was also not charged and that could have been because the AGC took into account the fact that Mr Kuan is now over 80 years of age.

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Related articles:

PAP MP Hri Kumar surprised by $1000 fine imposed on Woffles Wu

Salesman jailed for asking others to take rap for traffic offence, plastic surgeon let off with only a fine

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57 Responses to “Law Minister defends Woffles Wu’s ‘lenient’ sentence: A fine is “within the norm of usual sentences””

  1. jack said

    Sir, you are the law, In You We Trust. Can wee make a sticker for you, please

    • tintin said

      ‘we now live in nation where doctor destroy health,lawers destroy justice,universities destroy knowledge,goverments destroy freedom,the press dectroys information,religion destroys morals, and our banks destory the economy.” this what happen in Singapore now !!!

  2. whatdouthink said

    4 words
    Ong Teng Cheong’s nephew

  3. YOUR GRAND FATHER said

    官官相護?
    Even Law minister not speaking from conscienveness. you expect there is justice in SinkaPoor? So why not AGC but minister is speaking?

  4. JJ said

    I am surprised that Mr Shanmugam will say this. I have always believed the Justice System to be fair and just. In this case, is there a difference between our country’s juducial system and that of some other countries that I have visited? I have always held that our justice system is fair. This has shaken my belief. And that Mr Wu can think of asking an 80 year old man to take the rap for him takes the cake!

    • Hee said

      wow.. such interpretation of rules…. he is 80 y/o so can let him off.. but when he commit the offence he wasnt 80y/o.. wasnt that not considered into the decision.. if that is the fact all 80/90 y/o can commit murder and get away scots free??

      if this light punishment is the so called justice, then we are better off not following such rules anymore.. it is clearing (or blatantly) favoring a selected group of humans… esp the rich and powerful..

      the logic the penal code was changed before the date the speeding offence was committed is ridiculous.. and offensive (treating the rest of singaporean as idiots)

      what is the deterrent for “hiding” the fact that he has committed the offence for so long?..and getting someone to take the rap (to cheat on the law..including that stupid judge).. and if no one had complained, he would have gone scots free…. isnt this the very law which we want to protect against abuse and get away scots free just because they are more educated and supposedly be more responsible??

      if law is managed by a bunch of idiots (and call them selves judge or lawyers and MP ).. I am all for throwing out the law and these idiots down the drain.

      it has becoming more and more apparent that law served as a tool more for the protection of the riches .. and in this case clearly re-illustrated the dire need to revamp the law or the perhaps world the we live in

  5. ng p y said

    The Minister’s in defend of the charges is without substances but just for the sake of defence. So all the LAWS in his capacity as LAW Minister does not matter and does not apply because he says 80 years not being charge because of the age. 17 years years cannot be charges and 80 years also not to be charges so what age can be consider to be charge, please Mr Law Minister. PLEASE EXPLAIN TO THE NATION THE LAW FOR 17 YEARS OF AGE AND LAW FOR 80 YEARS OF AGE WHAT KIND OF LAW THEN IS SUITABLE TO BE METED ON THEM.

    • tintin said

      ‘we now live in nation where doctor destroy health,lawers destroy justice,universities destroy knowledge,goverments destroy freedom,the press dectroys information,religion destroys morals, and our banks destory the economy.”

  6. Mike Zeng said

    Like I said in another post…..the rich elites protect their own. This is the way it is in uniquely Singapore. Lesser mortals like us must take it or lump it!
    It is now left to the WP MPs to bring the matter up in the next P sitting.

  7. Exaggerated said

    His words says it all.

  8. Hypocritical Laws said

    double standards judgement being practice at its finest, with support from the very Minister Of Law!

    we can only blame the 60.1% who vote in the PAP government to protect the elite and victimize the commoners!

  9. vin183 said

    I am shocked by what our Law Minister is saying. He must remember that what he says is taken by many to be representative of the stand that the PAP government takes….so he should be take care of what he says.
    His claims that fines are commonly meted out, in such cases, without providing any statistics to substantiate them : I interpret it as not needing to explain why in this case, the sentence was so lenient, that it is not necessary or them to explain to the public, and not necessary for us to know!
    It would be of great interest to retrieve the past record : what has been the usual sentence for similar offences of getting someone to take the rap.
    The usual correct comment that would made by responsible politicians is that as it is an ongoing case, still under investigation – that he is not at liberty to comment or discuss it – to demonstrate impartiality – which in our Law Minister’s case, he is already saying that the fine of $1000 is correct.

  10. vin183 said

    Charlie Lim, 51 years old, was jailed or 6 months for one incidence of asking someone to take the rap for his traffics offence.
    Dr Wu, 52 years old, was fined $1000 for asking his worker to take the rap for his traffic offence, TWICE.
    Notice the glaring disparity?
    This is our good clean PAP government in the 21st century, not some third world corrupted governance.

  11. spotlessleopard said

    So “What do you think”

  12. weak justice said

    PUI!!! Weak excuses!!! so we can speculate that he fixed the law ministar’s fugly wife’s and mistresses faces for free? WTF!!!

  13. abang said

    So ong teng cheong really his uncle!
    http://www.pachealthholdings.com/csc/articles/nip_tuck.html
    No wonder lah!!

  14. pngkueh_forever said

    What, good gracious me 80 years old cannot be charged. That’s news to me. So all the eighties, please remember this quote….

  15. hachoiji said

    Its a precedent for all to follow. And if you get another set of charge, just quote him.

  16. PTKW said

    Very irresponsible reporting by Temasek Times. Not presenting the full picture but only parts, obviously to serve your purpose.

  17. aloysius12 said

    The fact of THIS matter – who uphold the LAW…probably this guy had consulted the law authorities and thereby got an 80 yrs old to take the rap. Anyway they have the authority to categorise whether Fido is a cat or a dog, and Parliament is subservient to him – recalled – this is one time off never to be used as a precedent!

  18. Steve Lee said

    If $1000 was the norm, why then was Charlie Lim jailed for 6 months for the same offence? It’s a simple question which must be answered. Did Charlie Lim have a previous conviction which was taken into consideration? Did the magistrate just have a bad day? Did the magistrate merely dislike Charlie Lim’s face? On a more sinister note, does the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau need to investigate this? There has to be consistency in sentencing if members of the public are to have faith in the Singapore judicial system and for the Singapore Legal system to maintain it’s good reputation.

  19. ketua67 said

    @JJ
    You woke up late. But better than never. Go google the case about JBJ’s complained about Tony, LHL, GCT wondering in polling station on polling day, and the ‘WTF’ verdict. Hold your jaw else it’ll drop to the floor.

  20. Birdie said

    Sh…………… Our President is busy selling Nasi Brani

  21. Birdie said

    Mr Hri Kumar, dare you challenge Mr Shanmugam.

  22. tintin said

    ok next time i speed at 100km ..i asking others to take the blame for his traffic offence .. fine only $1000 why not

  23. joe said

    maybe in time to come, FT and exparts are also not punishable by his law cos they are EXPARTs and FT

  24. Jac said

    Superb explanation. What do you think?

  25. Steve said

    bye bye PAP

  26. Alvin said

    Is this a common trend now that ministers are making statements without actually thinking it through? I mean come on, the Minister of Law commenting on the bribery.. errr.. I mean speeding case … errr.. I mean a case where a “Celebrity” ask an old uncle to take the rap for his speeding? Mr. Minister Sir, you can retro-actively state when this is normal but the ethical implications for such sentencing isn’t normal. That is why there is such an outcry.

  27. navena rajaratnam said

    It is sad, a very sad day. Is this the beginning of the end.

  28. Kelvin Kwek said

    Not convinced!!!!!!!!

  29. Kian said

    if we were to get another person to take IPPT for us, we will be prosecuted and jail is the norm. this is getting someone else to take the rap and is considered perverting the course of justice and there is no jail term? some animals are more equal than others.

  30. Hee said

    wow.. such interpretation of rules…. he is 80 y/o so can let him off.. but when he commit the offence he wasnt 80y/o.. wasnt that not considered into the decision.. if that is the fact all 80/90 y/o can commit murder and get away scots free??

    if this light punishment is the so called justice, then we are better off not following such rules anymore.. it is clearing (or blatantly) favoring a selected group of humans… esp the rich and powerful..

    the logic the penal code was changed before the date the speeding offence was committed is ridiculous.. and offensive (treating the rest of singaporean as idiots)

    what is the deterrent for “hiding” the fact that he has committed the offence for so long?..and getting someone to take the rap (to cheat on the law..including that stupid judge).. and if no one had complained, he would have gone scots free…. isnt this the very law which we want to protect against abuse and get away scots free just because they are more educated and supposedly be more responsible??

    if law is managed by a bunch of idiots (and call them selves judge or lawyers and MP ).. I am all for throwing out the law and these idiots down the drain.

    it has becoming more and more apparent that law served as a tool more for the protection of the riches .. and in this case clearly re-illustrated the dire need to revamp the law or the perhaps world the we live in

  31. Hee said

    so shanmugam

    the lesson learnt from you.. is if we commit any such crimes.. KEY is to ask someone to take the rap.. and wait till you are old and then can be excuse…

    maybe you can stipulated clearly at which age, we are excused from which crimes… dont keep shifting the goal poles to suit your own liking

  32. Kangaroo Lawyer said

    “He added that Mr Kuan was also not charged and that could have been because the AGC took into account the fact that Mr Kuan is now over 80 years of age.”

    What the fuck! This law minister is saying that the AGC which is under his control and purview also gives hefty discount in law for an offence committed by those very old senior citizens not to mention the rich asshole who gets away with a crime whether under the road traffic act or the penal code?

    I may understand the seniors exempted from caning because of age but not being charged at all?

    So the old Ah Pek who molested a chiobu also can be exempted?

    What kind of kangaroo justice is this?

  33. F**K_THE_PAPigs said

    This mother-fcuking law minister trying to deviate justice with a straight face? Look S’poreans, in particular the fcuking daft 60.1%, if you want to save S’pore from the doom that these mother-fcuking MIWs are driving S’pore and S’poreans to, vote these bastards out. There’s no two way about it.

  34. alex said

    ITS NORMAL FOR THE RICH PEOPLE TO DO IT BUT ITS NORMAL FOR THE POOR ONE…THATS PAP.

  35. Sweetee is Foreign Trash said

    I think after this saga, people above 80 yr old might be forming up criminal gangs to commit crimes since they will be let off easily.

  36. Lee Kong You said

    Law minister, substantiate your claims with reasoning and precedents. The things that come out of your mouth worries me.
    I fear for the judiciary of sg.
    If it becomes corrupt, all hell will break loose.

  37. solaris8899 said

    so does this mean committed serious crime before your stern rules imposed can easy walk away with the old ruling?

  38. Split Tongue Indian said

    Indian. Split tongue. No wonder they like Pinoy. Same family.

  39. Ron said

    Issuing a firm warning is also within the norm of sentencing. So, why not do that too? Or just fine a token $10?

    I am amazed that the Law Minister who is the highest officer in the land on legal matters is taking such a parochial approach. He could have said that the Judiciary is independent of the Executive (the Minister is with the Executive) and hence it is not appropriate to comment. That is up the the Chief Justice or the Attorney General. However, he could have strongly warn against perverting the Law.

    The Minister need not support the Judge. This is not a question of the Law being faulty. It is about consistency of approach.

  40. patriot said

    Let us be fair, Sin is still better than Myanmar, Libya, maybe even some of
    our immediate neighbouring countries. None of our Rulers are like the Junta.
    Gaddafi, Suharto or Marcos.

    Take it as a blessing that Sin has not rotted as badly as others.

    patriot

  41. stevenado said

    If it is wrong, it is wrong! Why the law minister needs to defend????why?why?the tell why?

  42. vijay said

    since there is public consensus that the punishment meted was too light, why isnt the Attorney General appealing against the sentence?

  43. Tan yan ren said

    K Shanmugam,
    You are the law Minister and you think the whole case is correctly handled including the penalties?In that case all drivers must take note of this as a good defence when they commit the same offence…i am sure a clever driver charged for the same offence must take note of this example and quote the Law Minister’s opinion on this matter….Yahoo!!!..I BEG TO DIFFER with your opinion , K Shanmugam….i am not impressed with your opinion….dangerous!!!!!!

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