Friday, June 25, 2010

Punishment by Caning in Singapore

The news media all around the world has reported cynically when lawmakers in the Province of Aceh issued a by-law which carries a sentence of Caning.

I wonder whether those news media would report similarly about a Swiss Citizen who has committed an offense punishable by Caning in Singapore. Please find below an article on this case that I quoted from The Jakarta Globe

Swiss software consultant Oliver Fricker tries to avoid the media 
as he walks to the Subordinate court in Singapore on June 24, 2010.  
Fricker pleaded guilty to spray-painting a Singapore metro train with 
graffiti, an offence punishable by caning.  (Photo AFP)
Swiss software consultant Oliver Fricker tries to avoid the media as he walks to the Subordinate court in Singapore on June 24, 2010. Fricker pleaded guilty to spray-painting a Singapore metro train with graffiti, an offence punishable by caning. (Photo AFP)


Swiss Man Admits Vandalism, Faces Caning in Singapore

Singapore. A Swiss expatriate pleaded guilty on Friday to vandalism and trespass after he was arrested for spray-painting a Singapore metro train, a crime which carries a sentence of caning and jail.

Oliver Fricker, 32, is to be sentenced later for the two crimes, which alarmed Singapore officials because he was able to break into a subway system that is believed to be a potential terrorist target.

Fricker, a business consultant, is out on a bail of 100,000 Singapore dollars (71,000 US) although his passport has been impounded after prosecutors argued there is a risk he may abscond.

His employer, Zurich-based Comit AG, which specialises in software for the financial industry, confirmed he had been suspended from work pending the outcome of the trial.

Fricker was about to return to Switzerland from his Singapore posting when he was arrested for the May 17 incident. A Briton who has left Singapore is also being sought as an alleged accomplice in the incident with the help of the global law-enforcement group Interpol.

Vandalism is punishable by up to three years in jail or a maximum fine of 2,000 Singapore dollars (1,440 US dollars), plus three to eight strokes of a wooden cane, a punishment dating from British colonial rule.

For trespassing into a protected area, Fricker faces two years in jail or a fine of 1,000 dollars, or both.

Singapore considers the intrusion a serious offense because its metro system is believed to be the target of Southeast Asian Islamic extremists, and the graffiti incident exposed security lapses.

Singapore’s vandalism laws became global news in 1994 when an American teenager, Michael Fay, was caned for damaging cars and public property despite appeals for clemency from the US government.

Agence-France Presse


umihoney said...

The important thing is the Wilayatul Hisbah of Aceh has given enough info and guidance to the masses ..a very prudent and wise way of implementing the law.The intention is not to punish but to deter.Outsiders with half baked info should look at the effectiveness of their own law before commenting and criticizing.

Elizabeth said...

This is such a strange story to me. A 32 year old business man doing something so childish, you wonder if the grown man deserves a spanking in a way?

senja said...

halo pak,..selamat malam ^^

maaf baru berkunjung ke rmh virtual anda....
akhir2 ini kurang bgt fit :)

H. Nizam said...

Aceh is a special Province with special autonomy that enable it
to adopt the Syaria Law which is suitable for its citizens who are mostly devout Muslem that's why Aceh is also popularly known as serambi Mekah (Mecca's Terrace). maybe that's why the said law is acceptable there.

Except in the province of Aceh, Indonesia adopted legal system similar to many countries in which
punishment do not include Caning.
While Singapore is an ultra modern country based on British legal system.
Like I said the news media has been cynical in reporting about the implementation of law in Aceh.
So I want to know how the media will react on the Caning in Singapore.

Terima kasih atas kunjungannya, semoga pacar anda lekas sembuh. Terima kasih.

Edwin's Personal Blog said...

Singapore is quite distinctive in law enforcement. That's why many white men have been so shocked getting acquainted with caning sentence..

Blog Ekspor Impor said...

Thus a give-up effect of committing law breaking is hopefully imminent..

Kiwi Riverman's Blogesphere said...

Sorry but caning of adults is uncivilised, as is the Sharia law. There are ways to embarrass grafitti sprayers without resorting to that sort of punishment. Dress them in pink and make them clean up litter in the middle of the BBD is one way.


colson said...

The fact that - to my liberal mind- the execution of Aceh bylaws is discriminatory and a kind of mediaeval barbarism, doesn't mean barbaric punishments in Singapore are less disreputable methods.

Actually a lot of people still know how to distinguish between Singapore's amazing economical successes, and it's scary one-party fake democracy, in which a retarded punishment system goes hand in hand with a depressing patronizing state.

And yes, the fate of the Swiss citizen did attract attention over here.

H. Nizam said...

Most people from outside Singapore, including Indonesia, would surely be shocked with the caning punishment.

@Blog Ekspor Impor,
Like Umihoney from Malaysia) said that the main purpose of Caning is not to punish but to deter.

"When in Rome do as the Romans do"
every country has its own laws which might be different from our country's laws. But everyone who visit that country should obey the said law.

I also prefer punishment system adopted by most countries of the world. But every countries has a right to determine how regulate people living in the country and choose what kind of punishment for violators.

Rob Baiton said...

If I am not mistaken the caning that happens in Singapore is not all that symbolic!

People have been known to shed blood and have welts that last for weeks.

The caning in Aceh, as I recall, was always a little more symbolic and had more to do with the stigma and shame attached to the public humiliation of being caned in front of the masses.

Caning obviously is not a deterrent, is it?

H. Nizam said...

Canings in Aceh were carried out the same way as in Aceh. For reference a photo of a man caned for 40 times is shown in Indonesia Matters :
What I meant is that Caning would deter a person's will to violate the law.

colson said...

@ Harry: With all due respect, but I doubt whether countries do have the right to choose whatever kind of punishments they think fit. Not if they are member of the UN - which includes the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. See article 5: "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment".

Well, Indonesia ( Aceh) is a member, and Singapore is a member of the UN.

H. Nizam said...

Hi Colson,
It would very ideal if all that has been decided by the UN would be adhered to by its members. But the fact shows that many members of UN, especially in the middle east, gives punishments which are more "weird" that Caning such as: Stoning; Cutting arms; etc. said...

Prezado H.Nizem,agradeço-lhe a visita
ao meu blog,e o comentário.
Felicidadas a você.
26/06/2010 as 13h07 min.

Ladyulia said...

so sorry to hear that

Saung Web said...

Wah ternyata banyak ketinggalan berita nih.. saya benar2 sibuk nih jarang ol hehe

H. Nizam said...

Thank you for your visit and kind words.

It's good to see you again.

Terima kasih atas kedatangannya

Aseli banyumas said...

Isu yang penting di sini adalah@ kedaulatan sebuah wilayah atau negara.kedaulatan sesebuah negara atau wilayah untuk melaksanakan hukum atau undang undang yang di sokong oleh kemandirian negara itu sendiri tanpa perlu rasa takut.dalam arti kata lain menegakan hukum tanpa membedakan warna kulit.@dalam persekitaran dunia yang wujud islam phobia adalah lebih baik sebagai satu strategi para pembuat undang undang atau pemimpin islam berselindung atas nama demokrasi atau kemanusiaan.contoh:agar pemakaian tudung/burqa diperjuangkan atas nama hak asazi massa islam menyorot proses pengadilan sesuatu kasus jangan terikut media barat yang menyorot pelaksanaan vonis sesuatu hukuman terhadap pelaku.

Land of Oase said...

He just a right guy but not on the right place...

H. Nizam said...

@Asli Banyumas,
Memang tiap negara harus berlakukan hukum secara sama kepada setiap orang yang berada dinegara tersebut.
Orang asing harus menghargai dan taat pada hukum tersebut.

@Land of Oase,
Sorry I don't get you, are you saying what the guy has done is right? As far as I know what he has done can be considered vandalism, which is punishable.

Land of Oase said...

@Nizam: yes bro.
He supposed to list this places below before doin' that, where graft is highly appreciate.
Hosier Lane Melbourne-OZ,i have my own graft here,
Topiel Street Warsaw-Poland,
Florence Metro Station, Tesnov-Praque
Dubbed5 Pointz New York-US,
Sydhavnen Copenhagen-Denmark,
Some fly over pit in Jakarta after some permits from local institution (Departemen Pekerjaan Umum)
or even in his own country; Rote Fabrik, Zurich.
Singapore? none of kinda places above.

H. Nizam said...

Land of Oase,
Okay now I understand what you meant. But like you said even in other places you mentioned he has to get permit right. I am sure that he won't get permit to spray on public transportation in Jakarta for example the Busway.

Land of Oase said...

i didn't see yet you on my google friend connect, i put already your link on my blogroll since 2 month ago..., hope you do as well, have great day!

H. Nizam said...

Land of Oase,
That's strange because I have followed on Google Friend Connect and
Networkedblogs. I'll check again.
In the meantime I will link you.

CherylT said...

I'm torn. On the one hand, people shouldn't be defacing government property. On the other hand, physically hurting someone as punishment seems so barbaric.