After suffering more than a day of insults from the general public because the deputy prosecutors gave up appealing, Law Minister K Shamugam finally spoke out and said that the government is “considering” further actions as soon as “early next week”:
“The matter is not over yet… The AGC will decide by early next week. The AGC – as well as the Government – had believed that the original sentence of eight years’ jail meted for CHC founder Kong Hee was too low, which was why AGC had appealed against it.”
Minister K Shanmugam said that the Singapore High Court’s legal reasoning cause serious implications for future corruption cases:
“From the Government’s point of view, this legal reasoning has serious implications for other cases, including corruption cases, (and) our zero-tolerance approach for the future.”
However, Law Minister K Shanmugam warned Singaporeans not to criticise the law and the judiciary, saying such criticism is not tolerated:
“I understand the public’s differing views on the judgement, but be careful against abusing the judges personally or suggesting improper or ulterior motives for judgements. The reasoning is there, they’ve set it out. People can agree or disagree and from the Government’s point of view, if we disagree, we can always consider doing something. If necessary, we can always legislate through Parliament. I have asked Attorney-General Lucien Wong and his deputies, Mr Hri Kumar and Mr Lionel Yee, to look into this. It may take time, but we have good people at the top, and they should be able to deal with it.”
In another case for American pedophile Joshua Robinson, Law Minister K Shanmugam has previously promised an appeal and paid lips services about giving a harsher punishment due to intense public pressure calling for a caning sentence. The government eventually refused to appeal after a load of drama tough-talking by the Law Minister.