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Should the ‘sticker lady’ be charged under the Vandalism Act?

Posted by temasektimes on June 11, 2012

The arrest of a 25 year old woman Samantha Lo aka ‘Sticker Lady’ for vandalizing several public properties including spraying paint on roads has polarized public opinion in Singapore with many pleading for leniency on her behalf.

While most Singaporeans agree that her acts are wrong, they differ in what should be the appropriate legal response. If Samantha is charged under the Vandal Act, she can be jailed for up to three years, but if she is charged for causing public nuisance, she is only subjected to a fine of up to $1,000.

Speaking to queries from the media, Associate Professor Chan Wing Cheong at the Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore said it is important to determine the motivations behind the law in deciding the one to be used:

“In deciding what is the appropriate law to be used, we should turn to the origins of that law – what were the motivations behind the law when it was passed? What was the mischief the law was meant to target?”

He added that though the acts of the ‘Sticker Lady’ may show a degree of preparation and deliberation, they are not on the ‘same scale’ as what was intended to be caught by Parliament when the Vandalism Act was passed.

“She is also not of the same category as a hooligan or a member of a street gang painting leftist slogans. It will be useful in the public discussion on whether any, and what, charges are appropriate in her case to remember what the Vandalism Act was about,” Prof Chan said.

Police investigations are still currently ongoing.


Related articles:

25 year old woman arrested for spraying graffiti signs on various roads


21 Responses to “Should the ‘sticker lady’ be charged under the Vandalism Act?”

  1. foxie said

    There is an easy way out:
    – Apply for PRC citizenship.
    She could get away with a mere warning.

  2. Steve Lee said

    Agreed. She is not in the same category as gangsters or hooligans. As such a strict adherence to the letter of the law would lead to an absurd result. The best choice as to which law to be used should be the “golden rule” to achieve a fair and just result. The culprit is admonished and social justice is achieved. I think she caused a public nuisance.

  3. RU YI Gee said

    If you ever been to china and see on the road signage “Love your country or I love you” and I feel this girl got talent,playful and she should not be punished by charges but make her create some nice signage on the road,LTA will engage her .

  4. Jardel said

    My take on this blog.

    1. She is Singaporean.
    2. She must obey local laws.
    3. She did paste stickers to deface public property.
    4. Base on point 3, that constitue Vandalism.
    5. Our laws are not governed by arts.
    6. Even if it is for Arts, vandalism is vandalism.
    7. Singapore has laws to charge any Singaporean who dare to vandalise public property.

    So finally, Yes, she will get charge. But personally, it is just show how infexible Singapore laws are, just because she is an individual who had the guts and urge to show her passion in arts. Poor girl. Hopefully, a reprimand is enough.

    Good Luck.

  5. Law By Law said

    Law by law. If she has committed an offense by vandalising public property, she should be charged. Maybe a lighter sentence can be melted out.

  6. Not everyone is au fait with the laws on vandalism. But while ignorance of the law is no excuse for committing an offence, justice must be tempered with empathy and mercy as appropriate.
    In the present instance, a stern warning plus a term of community service shd suffice as it cld well be a case of unthinking exuberance on the part of young Samantha Lo. If she shd repeat her offence, it wld of course be something else.

  7. Ron said

    If this is not vandalism, what is it? Defacing public or private property is vandalism. To call it mischeaf just because she is a cute young woman is putting emotions into the law.

    Next time a drunk can also pee at the front gate of Parliament and be excused? Spore is clean and neat because of stringent laws and regulations backed up by stiff punishments.

    • greatest mischief in SinCity said

      Of course the drunk should be excused if he thinks parliament is a public toilet…lol

      As for defacing public or private property, I believe many will agree the mischief committed was done with nice touch of humour and such a mischief can never be as evil as the mischief to change Spore’s constitutions……can you not see this Ron?

    • mahbok tan said

      Yes have to agree with you with a BUT……..coz why are the laws being use particularly towards citizen of SGpore high handedly but when come to FT’s the laws can be malleable…..?????

      If the GOVT of the DAY can slap a SGporean for being rude , then prease do the same towards FT’s.


    • Ron said

      She can be charged with vandalism and still be let off with a stern warning and be asked to do community service. That will be sufficent. And her record is erased after a few years anyway.

      As letting foregners abscond, this is something we have to take the Government to task. There is no need to investigate for more a year and then prosecute for simple assault cases. And why drag on the trial? Worse, why let them escape after being charged? This is why the PAP is being hammered and then that favourite argument… You see, we pay them such high salaries and see what happens.

  8. @ Ron said immediately above: It’s easy to damn and condemn when u’re not in a sinking boat to ask what the hell one’s doing in that particular boat. But if in a moment of unthinking exuberance u shd go out on that same boat, u wld be singing a different tune.
    Young Samantha probably thought she was artistically creative. She was evidently seeking attention as an aspiring artist, unthinkingly of the ‘offensive’ nature of her ‘artwork’ painting around as she did with her crayons that wld hv bn worn off over a short time by normal weather. There is a fine line between her ‘artwork’ and vandalism and the benefit of the doubt shd, in appropriateness, be given to her. Therefore, a stern warning not to repeat her offence plus a short stint of community service wld suffice for justice not only to be done, but to be seen to be done.

  9. xiaofam said

    Good law must have human touch!

    Law is set by country, country is run by government, government is elected by citizens. Do you want a law with a human touch, or unreasonable law without human touch?

    • DIY said

      There are 3 ways you can complaint to the State.

      a. An LTA Enforcement Officer caught the lady defacing a public road
      b. The public write to the press.
      c. An article appears in the media for public opinion.

      In this case the media wants a public opinion. Unless LTA prosecute her for vandalism, then we can see the seriousness of the case.

      Now for the human touch.

      Remember Michael Faye, he vandalized public properties, spray painted several private cars and was prosecuted and sentenced to jail with 6 strokes of the cane. The parent appealed through President Bill Clinton. The canning was reduced to 4 strokes. The accused have to serve time and penalties. That is the law of the land.

      For the lady, whatever the penalties she has to pay; she can appealed for leniency to the President of SG.

  10. There are reasons for everthing done, either it is ill intentioned or intended for some causes, What are the degree of damages done, does it caused or posed a danger to Country and People. Is it out to cause mischief or is it just out to gain attentions, so all these reasons will have to be taken into consideration before sentence.
    My opinion is a minimum fine and a warning.

  11. Rustle said

    If anyone has any doubt, the issue will be very clear if she paints on YOUR car these words “My Grandfather’s Car”.
    Would that be cute or vandalism?

  12. Fed Up Singaporean said

    No. She should not be charged.

    We already don’t have freedom of speech thanks to PAP. Singapore is clean and neat because of all the law and fines that scare Singaporeans into obeying…

    Look in the mirror next time round before you judge something as “crazy” “unlawful” “keyboard warrior” “rebel”. Have you even done anything crazy in your life? When you’re on your dead bed do you wish to tell your children ” I’ve worked everyday for 50 years, never took a break, never go overseas, never try anything new.. and now I’ve to pee in a tube and eat soft food..”

    Well do you?

  13. Alex Xela said

    I know what she did is wrong but please let her off with just a warning. Guess she did it out of imagination and creativity. I’m sure those kids and adults who saw and read the sign and the sticker sure will be smiling laughing and giggling looking at it. And that is what i called art in nature. Should we punish someone who make us smile and laugh??? I wont do that…do you agree with me.

  14. Angus said

    Good Luck! the future generation of Singapore will be mindless robots who can’t act or think for themselves!!

    Creativity? what is creativity? such stuff doesn’t exists when a country can’t even think in an open-broad minded way

    People here don’t even support their own national pride, so whats the point of even having dreams of aspirations?

    Researches should come to Singapore and get inspired by the people here to build Android robots, because its better to take notes about

    people lives here because they follow strict rules…

  15. thecakeisalie said

    The people running the law do not think twice about giving maximum punishments to locals. She’ll probably get jailed for 3 years plus a $1k fine. If not, maybe ISD will detain her.

  16. loo said

    i still want her autograph.

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