Law Minister K Shanmugam unwittingly infringed his newly-set-up Contempt of Court law by commenting on the recent case of an unlawful detention. Yesterday (Sep 28), a 39-year-old man locked himself up with a 2-year-old boy, refusing to open up the doors of a HDB unit in Sembawang Drive. The police barged into the HDB unit after a 17 hour standoff, even though the child was unhurt. The Law Minister was quick to comment using unverified sources on the case last evening saying that the man could be a drug addict.
“I am told, but it has yet to be verified, that the person involved may have been under the influence of some sort of drugs.”
Under the new contempt charges, any comment on a case undergoing police investigation and court hearing would amount to contempt. Offenders face up to 3 years’ jail and a S$100,000 fine. Based on the Law Minister’s comment, K Shanmugam has committed contempt by influencing the judgment of a suspect who has not undergone a fair trial. This offence is especially grievous given his position as the Law Minister.
However, given the legalised corruption system in Singapore, the Law Minister is unlikely to charge himself of contempt of court. Legalised corruption is rampant in Singapore even though it scores top marks in international “perceived-corruption” indexes and surveys. The country’s Constitution is currently being re-written to suit the Prime Minister’s agenda of having a puppet President. Ministerial salaries of the Singapore government is also the highest in the world, with the dictator Prime Minister drawing 4 times more than the US President. Along with censorship and severe punishments imposed for criticisms, the Singapore government sees no need for transparency and accountability to the people.