Ladies and Gentlemen,
This will come as a welcome bit of news for those who have been charged with offenses that include being caned (beaten) as a punishment under Singapore draconian laws. One such offense is vandalism. Under Singapore law a conviction of vandalism carries a punishment of jail and caning (beatings).
This sort of punishment is considered illegal under international law as being cruel and unusual punishment. Therefore every Western country which is a member of the United Nations including Australia and the US does not condone this sort of cruelty, regardless of the nature of the offense.
Therefore my advise for Singaporeans, regardless of the crime you are alleged to have committed is this. If you manage to somehow get to a Western Country and seek sanctuary, they will protect you. They will not send you back to Singapore as it would be against their laws to send anyone to a country where he will be subjected to cruelty such as this.
I am not sure if they would give you asylum for this, since you would be deemed a person of bad character (not for vandalism, which is considered a minor offense) nevertheless they will not return you to Singapore if doing so would mean your being tortured (caned).
In the US, what happens is this. If a person can prove that he would be tortured in this manner, but nevertheless has bad moral character (because of the criminal conviction) he is given what is known as "Withholding of removal". This means he is allowed to remain and work in the US but it will not lead to a Green Card or Citizenship; the plan being that in the event, some time in the future, if Singapore repeals these brutal laws, you are liable to be returned to Singapore.
I am looking forward to helping someone in this sort of a situation from Singapore. The best client for me would be someone who has done a little graffiti. As this is not a serious offense which will disqualify you from permanent residence or citizenship, if you want to come to the USA, see me on this.
Go out and do a little graffiti in Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore. When you are caught try to be released on bail. Once you are out, come and see me in my office in Fremont, California and I will get you legal residence here. Remember it does not matter how you got to California. The danger of course is this, if they refuse bail, kept you locked up and then caned you, it will be too late. So remember, it is up to you whether the risk is worth taking. It will be your decision, not mine. Remember that.
I am not sure what the rules are in Australia but I am sure, you will not be returned to Singapore to endure Lee Kuan Yew's torture.
For those who are unable to obtain travel documents to leave Singapore, note this. As far as the Western Country is concerned, it really does not matter how you got out of Singapore if you were escaping from this torture. So if it is possible, obtain a false passport if necessary, travel to Malaysia undetected, forge a few border crossing stamps in your passport and board the flight. The crucial point to remember is this. As long as you are able to board the flight to your western destination and get on the plane, you are safe. When you arrive in Sydney or Frankfurt or Toronto, merely inform customs and immigration that you are you fear for your safety in Singapore and are seeking sanctuary. From that point, you are safe. They will give you a hearing and determine your eligibility.
On the other hand, if you have a Singapore passport and can leave the island, you have no problem since you don't need a visa to most countries. You may need a return ticket just to show the airport at embarkation.
But one thing I am sure. They will never send you back to Singapore to be beaten (caned). If you are contemplating this action, do let me know.
Attorney at Law
Disbarred from practicing law in Lee's Singapore, imprisoned and refused entry to the island for criticizing Singapore's judiciary in this blog (see blogpost May 29, 2008 Singapore. Judge Belinda Ang's Kangaroo Court)
Actively practicing law in California and in good standing at the California Bar.
Member in good standing as a lawyer in England and Wales (Barrister).
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A1
Fremont, CA 94538, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914
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