THE TEMASEK TIMES

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Posts Tagged ‘Woffles Wu’

Judge should explain verdict in Woffles Wu’s case to public and not AGC or Law Minister

Posted by temasektimes on June 19, 2012

The Woffles Wu case was controversial not only in the incredibly light sentence meted out on the accused for asking his employee to take the rap for his speeding offence, but the way the establishment has handed the matter which appears  to have aggravated public discontent instead of soothing it.

Over the weekend, the Law Minister stepped forward to defend the verdict by insisting that it is the ‘norm’ for a fine to be imposed followed by a media statement issued by the Attorney-General Chambers to explain why Woffles was not jailed like many others before him which is unprecedented in the history of Singapore.

Why are the Law Minister and Attorney-General speaking up for Woffles Wu when the verdict was delivered by the judge?

The separation of powers is an important pillar in many First World countries in which the legislative arm of the government is separated from its executive arm to prevent political interference in matters of public interest.

The Attorney-General Chambers represents the Singapore government and decides who to prosecute while the judiciary is supposedly independent and kept separate from any political influence or pressure.

Under this principle, the AGC decides to charge Woffles Wu in court for the offence and it is up to the judge to decide on the verdict based on the facts presented.

How can the AGC explain the verdict on behalf of the judge when it is not supposed to have anything to do with the judiciary?

It is befuddling that the AGC appeared to defend the light sentence meted out on Woffles instead of appealing against it like it has done so before in other cases when it felt the sentence given was inappropriate.

The onus is now on the judge to explain his decision to impose only a fine on Woffles Wu and not the usual jail term to convince an increasingly skeptical public that the verdict was fair and just for the law must not only be fair, it must also be perceived to be fair.

In this instance, public perception remains that Woffles was somehow spared a jail term because of his status, wealth and profession in spite of the clarifications issued by both the Law Minister and the AGC.

Being a public servant, the presiding judge has a duty to account to the public why he decided to fine Woffles Wu to promote public confidence and trust in Singapore’s much vaunted legal system.

As PAP MP and lawyer Hri Kumar Nair put it succinctly:

“I do not know what the Judge took into account in making his decision, and I accept that no two cases are the same. However, I hope there will be an opportunity for the court to explain its reasons and how other cases where jail terms were imposed were distinguished. That will promote transparency and confidence in our legal system, and deal with allegations of unfair treatment, which have already appeared on the net.”

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Related articles:

AGC: No evidence to suggest that Woffles Wu paid his employee to take rap for him

AGC: Woffles Wu was fined only because there was no major accident or injury in his case

Law Minister defends Woffes Wu’s lenient sentence

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

Posted in Commentary, Opinion | Tagged: , | 25 Comments »

Outcry over Law Minister’s ‘clarification’ that a fine is the ‘norm’ in Woffles Wu’s case

Posted by temasektimes on June 18, 2012

A massive outcry has erupted among Singaporeans over Law Minister Shanmugam’s clarification that a fine is the ‘norm’ in the controversial Woffles Wu’s case which raised serious question on the impartiality of Singapore’s justice system.

A celebrity plastic surgeon who appeared regularly in the media and magazines like the Singapore Tatler, Woffles Wu was charged in court for asking an employee Kuah Yit Wah to take the rap for his speeding offences TWICE in 2005 and 2006.

Despite the severity of his crime, Woffles Wu was only given a ‘touch’ on his wrist when he was let off the hook with a mere $1,000 fine by the judge whose identity is kept in secret by the media for some strange reasons.

In contrast, 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.

Many Singaporeans do not accept Mr Shanmugam’s explanation and continue to demand for answers on Facebook:

“There’s nothing to defend..2 similar cases but 2 different sentencing? Simply not fair..need a review…seriously…” – Bobby Liu

“Its funny if you look at it this way , why a need for the Law Minister to come out and give a view which isn’t even what we call a point of view just for one Woffles Wu ? We don’t see him to come out speak on the laws on drink driving , hit and run or other court sentences .An obvious hint that Shanmugam makes up his owns laws or indirectly telling us the laws can close it’s eyes as long as you are rich ?” – Yeo Seng Leng

“A fine has already been imposed and only upon public outcry, they now say investigations are still ongoing. Is it the norm of law courts to pass sentence and then say, wait…investigations are still going on ??? How ridiculous !” – Robert Wong

“The law here is nicely crafted to protect the rich & powerful.. It’s an open secret which the rich & powerful know very well..” – Ng Teck Guan

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Related articles:

Law Minister defends Woffes Wu’s lenient sentence

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

Posted in News | Tagged: , | 17 Comments »

EXPOSED: Woffles Wu is a nephew of late Singapore President Ong Teng Cheong

Posted by temasektimes on June 17, 2012

Prominent plastic surgeon Woffles Wu, who was let off with a mere ‘touch’ on his wrist for asking his employee to take the rap for him in a speeding offence is a nephew of the late Singapore President Ong Teng Cheong.

Woffles was fined only $1,000 for abetting Kuah Yit Wah to take the rap for him twice in 2005 and 2006 after he was caught speeding along Lornie Road instead of the usual jail term.

In contrast, 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 a massive outcry among Singaporeans who were perturbed at the light sentence imposed including PAP MP Hri Kumar Nair.

According to an article published in The New Paper in 2006, it was revealed that Woffles Wu is a nephew of Ong Teng Cheong, Singapore’s first elected president who passed away in 2001:

[Source: Pacific Holdings]

We have also received some unverified tip-offs from anonymous sources that Woffles Wu is ‘well-connected’ and knows quite a number of prominent figures including PAP MPs within the establishment.

Meanwhile, the government and the state media have gone into a propaganda overdrive to convince Singaporeans that the verdict is ‘fair’ with Law Minister Shanmugam saying that a fine is the ‘norm’ for such cases and that investigations are still ‘ongoing’ into Woffles’ speeding offence which will probably cost him a few ‘peanuts’ and demerit points.

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Related articles:

Law Minister defends Woffles Wu’s lenient sentence

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

Posted in News | Tagged: , | 31 Comments »

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.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

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

Posted in News | Tagged: , | 57 Comments »

PAP MP Hri Kumar ‘surprised’ by $1,000 fine imposed on Woffles Wu for paying someone to take rap for speeding offence

Posted by temasektimes on June 16, 2012

PAP MP for Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC and lawyer Hri Kumar Nair has expressed his ‘surprise’ at the incredibly LIGHT sentence meted out on prominent plastic surgeon Woffles Wu (pic left) for paying somebody to take the rap for him for a speeding offence which shocked the entire nation, casting doubts on Singapore’s justice system.

While many others have been JAILED in the past for committing similar offences, Woffles Wu was only FINED $1,000 for abetting his employee 75 year old Kuah Yit Wah to take the rap for his speeding offence along Lornie Road not only once, but TWICE.

In stark contrast, 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)

Writing on his personal blog, Mr Hri Kumar wrote:

“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.”

Like many Singaporeans, Mr Hri Kumar was perturbed by the judge’s decision to fine Woffles Wu instead of sentencing him to jail:

“I do not know what the Judge took into account in making his decision, and I accept that no two cases are the same. However, I hope there will be an opportunity for the court to explain its reasons and how other cases where jail terms were imposed were distinguished. That will promote transparency and confidence in our legal system, and deal with allegations of unfair treatment, which have already appeared on the net.”

Despite the public outcry, the prosecution has not indicated if it would appeal against the decision which will surely set an unhealthy precedent for similar offences in the future.

Read rest of Mr Hri Kumar’s entry here

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Related articles:

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

Posted in News | Tagged: , | 35 Comments »

 
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