Despite possessing evidence proving that the grandson of Metro founder trafficked in drug, the rich man was acquitted by the Singapore judge and faced a less severe charge for drug possession. From the Whatsapp messages retrieved from Ong Jenn’s handphone, the Singapore Police confirmed that the 41-year-old had trafficked a block of 92.68g of cannabis and another block of 385.1g of cannabis mixture.
However the Singapore judge dismissed the evidence saying that the prosecutors did not “prove beyond reasonable doubt” and even defended the rich man saying the messages are insufficient evidence:
“There was no evidence to suggest that Ong’s purchase was linked to these messages.”
District judge Jasvender Kaur then acquitted him of two drug trafficking charges which carry a maximum sentence of 20 years’ jail and 15 strokes of caning (the amount of cannabis Ong Jenn trafficked do not warrant the mandatory death penalty). Instead, the rich man was founded guilty for possession of drugs and now face only a maximum sentence of 10 years’ jail and a S$20,000 fine. Through his lawyer – a Senior Counsel from elite law firm WongPartnership – the rich man has always maintained that the drugs are for personal consumption and denied selling them to others.
The descendant of the founder of mega shopping mall Metro has yet to plead guilty and is currently out on bail. Ong Jenn will decide whether to plead guilty only in the next hearing on June 22. His former drug supplier, Mohamad Ismail Abdul Majid was jailed 22 years and given 18 strokes of the cane in Sep 2015 after pleading guilty to drug trafficking.
There has been an increase in cases where the public had expressed outrage at the penalties handed out, in particular on City Harvest Church’s Kong Hee and American pedophile Joshua Robinson. Many Singaporeans have questioned the Singapore judiciary’s integrity as more cases of the rich and foreign being handed lesser penalties over a Singaporean local. The Singapore government did however paid lips service with Law Minister K Shanmugam initially promising to follow up to appease the public, and only to rescind his promise when it was quieter.