A 34 year old Dutch Dino Petrus Johannes van Deijzen who is working as a design executive was sentenced to a 3 weeks jail today (June 19) for viciously punching and kicking a 42 year old taxi driver after the former refuse to pay his taxi fare. The victim suffered multiple abrasions all over his body and could not drive for five days, severely affecting his livelihood – losing income and having to pay rental while he recovers.

Photo by thestraitstimes Wong Kwai Chow
Photo by thestraitstimes Wong Kwai Chow

Just four days ago, in the same Singapore Court, a 27 year old NS man was jailed 72 weeks for evading 4 weeks of National Service to study medicine in Cambridge.

States Times Review has covered many criminal cases in the past month and can’t help but to voice out the huge discrepancy, notwithstanding the sense of gross injustice, in the court judgments. The two cases have polarizing intentions and outcomes – it is not hard to tell which is worse, especially when the other does not even have a victim.

In all fairness, deterrence is needed to prevent both criminal acts. However why is an assault case that has endangered the life of another warrant a deterrent sentencing 24 times smaller that of a case of military non-compliance which caused no financial or physical losses to anyone?

What kind of country are Singaporeans really living in when the last line of defence to injustice, is itself a gross miscarriage of justice?

Related stories:
27 year old NS man jailed for 18 months for 1 month of AWOL