Ladies and Gentlemen,
Singapore's state controlled newspaper The Straits Times of June 26, 2010 has the story of Swiss graffiti artist Oliver Fricker, titled "Jailed 5 months and caning" about his being sentenced to 5 months of imprisonment and 3 strokes of the cane for tagging graffiti on a Singapore train.
But my feeling is, suprising as it may seem, he is not going to be caned at all. He has recently appealed and usually it would take at least a month before the caning happens. In the meantime, his lawyer will do the usual routines for Fricker to claim various reasons why he should not be caned. And the High Court will conclude that Fricker is someone undeserving of the high honor of a beating, and will be spared.
This is why I call this whole thing a Singapore drama. Singapore's judges are corrupt and will do anything to please Lee Kuan Yew's political ends.
In Fricker's case, Singapore strongman Lee Kuan Yew has a difficult problem. On the one hand you have Singapore's masses, the drivers the cooks and the office boys. Lee Kuan Yew has no interest in these people, whom he believes have to be kept perpetually submissive and afraid of him, which is how he runs the island, through fear. These ordinary men and women, whom Lee Kuan Yew has called "digits", about whom he has no respect at all, have been successfully subdued,cowered and silenced. Even if Lee had a law requiring their nails to be pulled out, they can do nothing.
On the other hand you have the foreigners, specifically the important ones from the West who run large companies in Singapore. Fricker is of this group. Unlike his local Singaporean "digits" of taxi drivers and delivery boys, it matters to Lee Kuan Yew what they think of him and his tin pot island. A lot depends on his image and reputation. Lee Kuan Yew wants the world to believe that it has the rule of law, and it is a democracy, clearly something which Singapore is not. Singapore's image abroad will determine how much investment it gets and how many tourists come. If it is seen as a repressive dictatorship, which it is, Singapore will tend to lose out in these vital areas.
Caning (beating) Fricker may have serious adverse consequences for Singapore. Caning is considered torture and a punishment unacceptable in the West. Singapore will begin to get a bad name in these quarters, investments will drop, tourists arrivals will fall and Singapore will become a joke, if it is not already one.
In 1994, an American teenager Michael Fay was caned for graffiti. That decision was clearly a mistake, from which consequence Singapore has not still completely recovered. Lee Kuan Yew today does not want to make the same mistake with
Lee Kuuan Yew classic opera requires that the message should be sent. And that message was sent by the lower court judge ordering 3 strokes of the cane. Since the message has already been sent, there is no real harm in the higher appeal court reversing the caning. In the end the point has been made.
My reading of Lee Kuan Yew's very cunning but truly silly head tells me that in this day and age, 2010, he knows it would be very unwise to beat Fricker. It would have disastrous consequences.
So here comes the "Law Drama" starring Oliver Fricker and produced and directed by Lee Kuan Yew, and Singaporean judges in supporting roles.
While Oliver Fricker is in jail, as he is now, his lawyer, in consultation with a collaborating physician in Singapore will produce a false medical report on Fricker stating that he has had a serious back injury which he got as a child. The doctor will also recommend that Fricker should not be beaten as the pre-existing injury will aggravate into a serious one, resulting in his becoming a paraplegic.
His lawyer will quickly show this important piece of "medical discovery" to Lee Kuan Yew's friend who doubles as the judge in the High Court. Immediately the judge will agree that it is indeed unwise to beat Fricker under these circumstances. However he will conclude that 5 months prison sentence is manifestly low, Fricker being an incorrigible criminal has cut wire fences, entered no go areas, painted trains and done other bad things. Therefore the sentence is increased to 9 months. Fricker will stay a little longer in jail, he will not be beaten and everyone will be happy.
"Law Drama" starring Oliver Fricker will end, the curtains will fall and he goes home.
Hopefully, minus the caning for the foreigner, foreign business will continue to flow and the tourists will still come in.
Had he been a Singaporean unimportant local, the canings will not be five, it would be 10, and if the stupid unimportant Singaporean appealed, it would be increased to 20.
This is how good old Harry Lee Kuan Yew Singapore tin pot tyrant runs the place. And he does not care 2 hoots what you local Singapore taxi drivers think.
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