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