Just because you are online doesn’t mean you can mouth off. That seems to be the message the G is sending to some online commentators who talked about the sentencing of the PRC guy who carjacked a taxi and killed a cleaner in his rampage at Changi airport last year.
Truth to tell, the sentence was eyebrow-raising.
Yuan Zhenghua was sentenced to 25 months jail but the term was backdated to the day he was thrown behind bars. So it means about a year shaved off. Apparently, Yuan was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia at that time and thought the cabby was going to make off with his belongings. The sentencing judge took his mental disorder into consideration, adding that this lessened “his moral culpability to some degree’’.
Some people thought he got off too lightly and went too far online to slam the judicial system and the judge. References were made to the foreigner versus Singaporean controversy that has been raging here for some time and the question of bias was raised.
Seems the Attorney-General’s Chambers has been trawling online sites, found some Facebook postings unacceptable and wrote to the administrators of the Facebook pages. Now just who and how many were served such letters of demand that they remove the postings and apologise is not clear.
One apology read:
“We accept that posts and comments on our website in respect to the case of PP v Yuan Zhenghua scandalized the Courts of the Republic of Singapore.
We apologise for committing that act of Contempt of Court, and have taken down the offending posts and comments. We will not in future put up any post or comment to same or similar effect.”
Perhaps, the judge might want to think about writing a full judgment explaining his decision. Because, never mind the threat of contempt of court proceedings, it’s going to be hard to put a lid on this case.