Thio Shen Yi - A rare breed

In a rare public display of criticism, outgoing Law Society President Thio Shen Yi said that his clash with Law Minister K Shanmugam over a case where police intimidation led to a suicide of a 14-year-old boy, was a  badge of honour....

“If Benjamin had a lawyer present to give advice during the course of the (police) interview, would things have turned out differently? We will never have certainty, but it is not impossible to imagine a different outcome, and if that is possible, then one more question: How then should we act?”

Law Minister K Shanmugam was enraged by the Law Society President’s comments and threatened that his comments may amount to Contempt of Court:

“His statements imply that Benjamin killed himself because of police intimidation. Where the police are wrong, we must and will take action. But we should not allow deliberate, dishonest attacks.”

The Law Minister also slammed online news site TheOnline Citizen for fabricating “deliberate falsehoods to tar the police”.

The government’s state coroner absolved the Singapore Police of all responsibilities over the boy’s suicide and even praised the police and school’s measures taken “commendable”....'

The above was posted in the statestimesreview. Now that the case is closed, would a discussion on the above statement be a contempt of court? How many of you agree with Thio Shen Yi's comment that if Benjamin had a lawyer, the outcome would be different? How many of you think his statement amounted to contempt of court?

My view is standard. I always agree with the govt, especially the Law Minister. When he said contempt of court, be very mindful that he is right. But is does not mean that I agree with the govt or the law minister.

Anyway, I like this man, Thio Shen Yi. You don't find such individuals in the little Red Dot any more, or rarely. I have written a post titled, 'The silence of the intelligentsia' and had posted it earlier. That might explain why I like Thio Shen Yi. I hope saying I like this man does not amount to contempt of court or any funny or contorted or distorted interpretations. Such individuals are admirable in a city devoid of free thinking intelligentsia.


Anonymous said...

If Thio said this at his own capacity ( not publicly) he wouldn't get himself in trouble, but he is the law society president, he need to be mindful of wat he said that anything need evidence to back it up or else it's a Contempt of court 'order. Law Minister Mugam is doing the right thing else everybody will start to spread rumours about the man-in-blue handling unprofessionally & it will cause social disorder & disrespect to those authority in charge.

Anonymous said...

I think Lawyer Thio s word meant a 3rd party witness of the investigation may provide more objective information of what lead this young kid to death.

Most parents having concern on their kids well beings would support this view. In many countries, for example, sinkies see China police as backwards, the police has to wear auto camera so that investigation at crime scene could be traced objectively. There is no question investigation interviews were videoed.

The only very advanced country object to using video recording investigation is sinkieland. To put a lawyer at the alleged accused side will be amounting to contempt of justice, tio boh? Putting video recording is already contempt the investigation. The conclusion is to trust the police investigation, The parents voted for the politicians to have this kind of system. Its not up to voters to demand some form of objective traceability. No voters are not entitled to video traceability, only crime in public places such as shops can have such videos as traceability and evidence. In the station, there is no such need. Ownself can checkownself. Do not ask for more. Trust the politicians to work for voters benefits. Do not like this way, vote for opposition. Sylvia Lim had suggested to use video recording during investigation in parliament. It was rejected. Voters 70% all want the non video objectivity and no need to have virtual traceability, words and mouth explanation is good enough. Wanna put lawyer to accompany the alleged accused, the how to do investigation? This is the position. Its on voters preference, like tea and coffee. Vote for opposition, you will have the system changed. If not, the system will be as old as colonial time under British rule, no need video or lawyer lah. No change is always better in sinkieland.

Anonymous said...

Rb be very careful cause a good lawyer can make representation based on what u infer. In another word, they can put words in your mouth to say that u imply certain things. Like Cantonese saying "eat dead cat" so u May Kena cause the good lawyer say that is what you meant though in all honesty that may not be what you meant. The court would have to interpret whether what u say is what most people perceive. To be what u are saying though from the bottom of your heart it's not what u meant but too bad u Kena and pay fine or go to jail.

virgo49 said...

They always used The contempt of court to silence anyone who spoke against them.

Or when they are losing grounds.

Just plain intimidation.

What's to do, Sinkies just loved to be screwed .

The harder they screwed, the more they enjoyed.

They swalowd bait,hook and sinker by their hai kow yew sweet words For your own Good and Security

Anonymous said...

The elephant in the room is .....

Do Singaporeans think (I know it's difficult) police procedures involving minors can be improved?

If no changes are made to present day police procedures involving minors ... are we exposing ourselves to a future repeat incident?

Anonymous said...

Let me ask everybody here a question.

You attend a Hong Lim Park rally.
Afterwards, as you leave Hong Lim Park, a policeman asks you to follow him to a police station for questioning.
- what is the minimum you can do to protect your rights and freedom as a Singaporean?

Are you allowed to ask the policeman:
1. Am I under arrest?
- If yes, what is the charge?

2. If I am not under arrest, then can we please set up an appointment so that we can meet up at a mutually convenient time & place?
- I am not free right now.
- And what is this meeting all about anyway?

As citizens, are we at least entitled to the above under our Singapore Constitution and laws?

Anonymous said...

"Sinkies just loved to be screwed "

This is the truth for 50 years, and may be another 20 years until most sinkies are broke after the properties crashes, export goes zero, and sin dollar become toilet papers, then sinkies starts to realize what happens.

For the 14 year old case and the suggestion of an accompanying lawyer, it was just another screw up idea. Look at what the 14 y o mother said. When she went to school to intercept the police party, the party of 5 adults already took the 14 y o to station. When she went to station, she was not allowed to sit side by side with the kid.

You wanta lawyer sitting side by side with the 14 y o kid as potential accused? You need to wait for 20 years time. By then the Pap might be already in opposition fighting back to restore the no lawyer no mother to accompany old system. I think change is possible in 20 years time. But want early, then vote for opposition in 2020. Or continue to get screwed by the system. No change if under the same hands.

virgo49 said...

Aiya,these usless SPF only picks on SINKIES which they know Makan.

See big group of Ah Neys semi drunk, think they dared to check them.

But see a lone Sinkie sitting in public smoking away, they will wah bravado check on.him.

My gym friend just because he sported tattoo on arms frequently check in public and MRT stations entering and exiting different stations same day.

When asked them what's offence I committed?

Sheepishly said No, but we can check anyone we wish.

Sinkies only bullies Sinkies.

Just like In NSlavery.

The RPs and MPs just check you for fun.

Just ways of intimation.

That's why the Commandos used to sing Watch the Dogs
Watch the.Dogs

Anonymous said...

Ask another question.

What is the purpose of the Singapore police force?
What do Singaporeans (who pay their salary) want the role of the police to be?

1. Is it the role of the police to do whatever the Law Minister says without question?

2. Who decides on what is "proper and adequate" police procedure?
- the Law Minister?
- the Police Commissioner?
- the Singaporean citizens and/or daft voters?
- the Elected President?

3. Is there an existing process in place to systematically review police procedures ... or is everything ad hoc ... and only a Commission of Inquiry can review police procedures?

4. Who does the police serve and protect?
- the Law Minister?
- the Police Commissioner?
- the Singaporean citizens?

Anonymous said...

Such individuals are admirable in a city devoid of free thinking intelligentsia.

Tiok, admirable but no use lah, since he did not contest elections as an opposition candidate.

If he had contested and won, and had said that in Parliament, that would have carry much more weight than outside Parliament or as an outgoing Law Society President.

So what he had said carry as much weight as what RB or even what you and I said. Got use or not, u tell me lah? Worse, he may even get into trouble as there is no Parliamentary immunity outside Parliament.

Anonymous said...

When does the police arrest an offender?
Arrestable and non-arrestable offences in Singapore


Anonymous said...

4. Who does the police serve and protect?
- the Law Minister?
- the Police Commissioner?
- the Singaporean citizens?
11:13 am

Aiyo, that's a stupid question to ask lah. Because for obvious reasons, the answers are better left unsaid than said.

And as stupid as asking why Lee Hsien Loong never praise Chee Soon Juan, even for Chee's courage and perseverence.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

The colonial legal system is biased in favour of the lawyers, allowing the lawyers to look good and the witness to look bad. How?

Lawyers did all the questioning, can twist and turn, witness can only answer yes or no.

Why are witnesses not allow to question the lawyers to make the lawyers look like fools, answer me, yes or no, thank you.

See how the system works, and how the lawyers look so clever? When one is given the right to ask and ask and the other party can only answer yes or no, what you think would be the result?

No one sees anything wrong with such a system? The lawyers can get away with murders and no one can question him, not his victims.

Put a lawyer on the witness box and anyone with a little commonsense would be able to make the lawyer look like a fool, if the lawyer can only answer yes or no.

Anonymous said...

Go read the Fox News you will be surprised how we are feeding with information all the time.

Anonymous said...

/// Why are witnesses not allow to question the lawyers to make the lawyers look like fools, answer me, yes or no, thank you. ///

It's a good question.

My guess is that the WITNESS is supposed to be impartial.
So if the WITNESS starts questioning the lawyer, he will ceased to look impartial.

In the case of the ACCUSED, the ACCUSED has his lawyer to do the questioning for him.

Anonymous said...

Lawyers did all the questioning, can twist and turn, witness can only answer yes or no.
RB 11:33 am

RB, thanks for the info. I never knew that is the case because I was never a witness in court.

With that info, my world came crashing down on the colonial legal system, and by extension our legal system inherited by being a former British Colony.

In fact I heard that the ISA and the CPF were also inherited from the British colonial masters, but under PAP, you know what happened lah.

Anonymous said...

I think in the era before communism;
The Chinese magistrate also acted as the prosecuting lawyer.
11:52 am

If that's true, then communism, just like PAP, looks like the lesser of 2 evils. No wonder communism in China, just like PAP, can be in power for so long, and even longer than PAP!

Actually the communism in China now is not like the communism in the past, just like PAP now is also not like PAP in the past. And this has even been testified by no less a person than Hsien Loong's own sister Wei Ling.

Anonymous said...

What about Singaporeans today versus the Singaporeans in the past?

The Singaporeans in the past used to riot against the colonial government.
Nowadays, Singaporeans don't even dare to go to Hong Lim Park.

Anonymous said...

Communism Pap ? So what? There are measurements. That is the pocket. The pockets comes from jobs in modern world. Talk about olden days, China communism is good for the poor. People work in the 70s 80s worked under state paid enterprises, half day can rest liao. Pay is guaranteed, no sacking. Those old and sick enjoyed free payment every month still in practice. Pap system old and sick, haha, better mati or go JB. Now JB also dont want u. Pap system is a bluff comparing to china communism. China is no longer a real communisum, jobs can get sack liao. Pay is far higher, easily starting at 30000 rmb for graduates. In the 80s was 300 rmb for same education.
Pap system s pay is: stick to 80s pay level, wanna increase? resign lah, firms can hire employment pass from channai.

Last is: how long can Pap sytem last or sustain? China system is changing, including its legal system, investigation system, justice system. Pap system is: no change, not even dare to video. How long can the citizens take systems that are considered outdated?
Never always talk about old china system. Those days had no internet lah.
Pap now put India as hope, change to Indian system. The best in the world on legal system. U want?

Anonymous said...

/// Such individuals are admirable in a city devoid of free thinking intelligentsia. ///

It's not that there is no intelligentsia in Singapore.
It is because "speaking out for Singaporeans and freedom" is not a profitable activity.

Furthermore, freedom is only worth fighting for when you deal with human beings.
No intelligentsia will waste time fighting for the freedom of sheep.

Do you see Australians wasting their time fighting for the freedom of sheep from their owners?
Of course not.

Similarly in Singapore.
Why should you expect to see intelligentsia wasting their time fighting for the freedom of sheep/slaves/Singaporeans from their owners?

Anonymous said...

Pay is far higher, easily starting at 30000 rmb for graduates.
1:19 pm

30000 rmb? U mean monthly or yearly? If it is monthly, is there a typo error? If not, I will fell off my chair! If it is yearly, not really high but quite reasonable lah. Like what our graduates earned 40 years ago.

Anonymous said...

'Law graduates were highest paid with an average salary of 5,200 yuan a month, while philosophy graduates earned the lowest average salary of 3,667 yuan" 2015 May.

More than 30000 rmb. Housing is cheaper than sinkies.

Anonymous said...

High speed rail to be signed on 13th Linking to Singapore is a money losing project for Singapore, certainly also Malaysia. Malaysia professor said.

"“The question should be, does the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore route need to be served by a high-speed rail link. We have over a hundred flights a week from KL to Singapore via low-cost carriers as well as full-fare carriers. We have thousands of buses plying the Singapore-KL bus route.”

Given its high cost, the line is unlikely to be commercially viable without substantial financial support in the form of concessionary financing or partial absorption of capital costs by the two governments, and the selected source country, said Yeah Kim Leng, professor of economics at Sunway University, Malaysia."

Anonymous said...

/// Given its high cost, the line is unlikely to be commercially viable without substantial financial support in the form of concessionary financing or partial absorption of capital costs by the two governments ///

Not really lah.
Too many buses? - You just stop issuing licence to bus companies to operate between Singapore & KL lor.

Too many low cost carriers? - you stop issuing landing rights into KL and Singapore lor.

Too many cars - You increase the Vehicle Entry fee into Singapore and Johor/Malaysia respectively lor.

Not bad ah?
I can qualify to be PAP Minister or not?

Virgo 49 said...

Wah bro, with brains like that wonder why LOL, oh oh LHL did not called you to drink Tea.

On the other hand, the netizns hope you can go Lim kopi


b said...

Sg long already in hands of ahnehs. Better be careful otherwise will get into a lot of trouble. They are ruthless and merciless.