Heated exchange in House between MP and minister

Dear Mr Shanmugam,

I refer to your parliament exchanges with Ms Sylvia Lim on Dr Wu’s case [1], [2].

There must have been thousands of cases that are similar to Dr Wu’s case. Six cases are not sufficient to prove anything. How do we know if the thousands of other cases which you did not pick but which are similar to Dr Wu’s case have not resulted in more severe sentences? Insisting that Dr Wu’s case falls within the broad framework of the six cases you chose doesn’t prove that Dr Wu’s case falls within the broad framework of the thousands of cases you did not choose. Pick a different set of six cases and Dr Wu’s case might fall outside the broad framework of those six other cases.

If you argue that Ms Lim’s sole cited case of Mr Tan Jack Saa cannot compare with the six cases you have cited, you should also accept that your six cases cannot compare with the thousands of cases you did not cite. Since your six cases are insufficient to prove anything, there is nothing wrong in Ms Lim’s refusal to answer your question since answering it proves nothing.

Consider too the case of Mr Lee Kiat Seng [3] cited by you. The case is nearly identical to Dr Wu’s except that Mr Lee paid his fall guy $300 to $500 whereas Dr Wu did not. But given how impossibly rich Dr Wu is, there is no reason why Dr Wu wouldn’t pay $300 to $500 if his fall guy wanted it. Strip away the $300 to $500 which is really peanuts to Dr Wu and the two cases are just about identical. Yet Mr Lee ended up with 2 weeks’ imprisonment while Dr Wu did not. If $300 to $500 can make a world of a difference, does it mean that a drug dealer who pays someone to carry drugs for him is deemed to have been much more culpable than a drug dealer who sweet talks a lady into carrying drugs for him? Does it mean that a man who pays someone to stab another is deemed to have been much more culpable than one who simply convinces another to do the stabbing? Can different methods of achieving the same criminal outcome lead to vastly different sentencing outcomes? Putting the two cases together suggests to the public that it is ‘safe’ to get someone to take the rap for your speeding offence as long as you don’t offer money outright. You can give him a good salary increment or a good bonus later as long as you don’t offer him money outright. Wouldn’t that be ridiculous?

[1] Straits Times, 14 Aug 2012, Heated exchange in House between MP and minister

[2] Oral answer by Minister for Law, K Shanmugam, to Parliamentary Questions on the Woffles Wu case, http://app2.mlaw.gov.sg/News/tabid/204/Default.aspx?ItemId=689

[3] Annex to oral answer by Minister for Law, K Shanmugam, to Parliamentary Questions on the Woffles Wu case, http://app2.mlaw.gov.sg/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=KedPeOH2YTk%3d&tabid=204

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One Response to “Heated exchange in House between MP and minister”

  1. patriot Says:

    Well said Sir!

    And

    MP Sylvia Lim was wise to leave it there and then
    knowing that many Singaporeans will know how to
    assess the honour and integrity of our Parliamentarians.

    patriot

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