Saturday, September 8, 2012

Newspaper's gaffe fails to deter would-be killers

Singapore's paper of record made a gaffe in its Page One headline today, "Five youths jailed, caned over Downtown East murder".

In using the word "murder" (instead of "death" or "killing"?), the $1.00 newspaper probably expressed the thought bubble from Singaporeans who followed the justice system as it prosecuted the people who killed former Republic Polytechnic student Darren Ng Wei Jie, who died at age 20.

If the Page 1 prominence of the article was meant to deter would-be murderers, the headline makes this an epic fail.

Murder is a hanging offence in Singapore. The article's headline appears to suggest that one can get away with murder if one is prepared to pay the price and trade one's freedom for time in jail with three square meals a day, shelter and exercise periods - which are basics that many poor people in Singapore do not have - and endure caning.

The 12 years behind bars for the 20-year-old who is said to have sparked the fight, Stilwell Ong Keat Pin, means he will be out when he is in his 30s. He was convicted not for murder but culpable homicide. There is a big difference between the two which the $1.00 paper should have been well aware of.


Anonymous said...

Hi David,

I have heard some hearsay that Hard Truths has been put on officer's reading lists and that buying instead of borrowing is "encouraged". Have you heard anything about this?

David Boey said...

Contents-wise, Hard Truths makes the original memoirs look comparatively tame.

Yes, it's on the reading list. The talk that ownership rather than borrowing is "encouraged" isn't too far fetched, though haven't heard it myself.

Best regards,