Vindictive Myopic Singaporeans

Apparently a Kiwi accused of causing grievious hurt and (probably) damage to public property has skipped bail and returned to New Zealand. Facing up to 10 years and caning, Robert Dahlberg decided his butt worth more than the $25k bail and fled the moment he could.

As expected, commenters on TOC’s FB accused the Govt of incompetence in granting bail to a flight risk, and even of licking white men’s asses because the same bail would not have been granted had the accused not been white.

There’re wrong. They’re so wrong it’s embarrassing.

One, it’s not the Govt which was incompetent, it was the judge. I’m pretty sure our govt, through the DPP, would have objected to bail. Why is it critics can’t understand the difference between the Govt and the judiciary? Whether you believe it or not, the govt does not tell judges what to do in criminal cases like these.

Second, and more important: notwithstanding the incompetence of the judge, have those critics thought about why foreigners skip bail and leave the country?

I know these guys feel outraged that someone escaped their just desserts here. But if you were facing 10 years’ jail and caning, wouldn’t you skip bail and jump ship if you could?

The reason foreigners avoid our system of justice is because it is too harsh. C’mon! 10 years in prison, plus caning? That’s what they do in other countries for murderers, drug dealers and rapists. And they don’t even have caning over there!

How do you expect anyone in his right mind to stay and await such punishment?

Instead of focusing on how incompetent the judge was in granting bail to a flight risk without impounding his passport, I would suggest people look at the balance between crime and punishment in Singapore.

While some people may think that it’s unfair to Singaporeans who have to stay here to face trial because unlike foreigners they have nowhere to run, I wouldn’t want anybody, foreigner or Singaporean, to be subject to 10 years plus caning for this kind of crime.

Especially not when our discovery process leaves much to be desired, when the police have so much latitude in conducting their investigations, when accused have no rights to have counsel present during interrogation, and when convictions can be made based on confessions and statements from the accused rather than physical and forensic evidence.

With the odds stacked against the accused, and with cruel and unusual punishment that are three or five times as harsh as anywhere else in the developed world, it would indeed be surprising if any foreigner with a chance to leave would stay behind to face trial.

Hence, much as you curse the incompetence of the judge, do also look at the big picture and realize that Singapore just doesn’t measure up when it comes to criminal justice.

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About politicalwritings

Someone who sees beyond PAP and "opposition" in Singapore politics. To understand more please see the Top 10 link below.
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6 Responses to Vindictive Myopic Singaporeans

  1. sg lee says:

    Is 10 years jail the maximum sentence or the expected sentence.

  2. test says:

    I think the precise problem is that most Singaporeans are vindictive and myopic AND that they are perfectly happy with the sort of punishments meted out by our criminal justice system.

  3. Fredrick says:

    I dispute the sentences is tough as being said by the author here. If u look carefully, I would say our sentences are compatible with the offence. We dun put pple away for for simple offences such as thief etc. or have children in jail for dunno how long in Singapore.

    To suggest that because of the sentence the accused person find there is a need to run away is absurb. It only goes to show that he is already guilty at heart. If he is not guilty, he dun worry abt the sentences or punishment as he will walk away with his clean white butt.

    Otherwise I largely agree with what the author mentioned.

  4. kayangmo says:

    not happy , then don’t come here la…damage public property….wah lao eh, 10 yrs easy peasy already.

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