Minister for Law and Home Affairs K Shanmugam has expressed his surprise at a case where a National University of Singapore (NUS) undergraduate molester was handed probation instead of a jail term on the basis of his good grades.
Prosecutors will appeal
In a Facebook post on Friday, Sep. 27, Shanmugam revealed that the father of 23-year-old Timothy Siow's victim, who is unnamed due to a gag order imposed by the court, wrote to him in the wake of the case, sharing that he empathised with the victim's family.
He also shared that the Attorney-General's Chambers, which prosecuted the case, has said it is intending to appeal the sentence imposed.
In his post, he additionally hinted that the government can and will look into amending the law — should the outcome from this appeal be still different from public expectation.
Meanwhile, though, he asked members of the public who feel strongly about the case to reserve their judgment — especially personal attacks against District Judge Jasvender Kaur — and let the Appeal Court to review this case based on law and the facts available.
Here's his full post:
Here's the text in the post in case you can't see it:
[ Molest Case ]
There has been a fair bit of reaction to the verdict in this case. Terence Siow who molested a woman at Serangoon MRT was setenced to probation. The victim, has also made her views clear.
I will make a few points :
1. People are entitled to express their views, unhappiness, with the verdict, and their feelings that the punishment is inadequate.
2. I can also understand how the victim and her parents must feel. The father wrote to me. Many of us ( speaking for myself as a parent), will feel the same way.
3. I was surprised, myself, with the verdict.
4. I therefore asked AGC for their views. AGC officers told me that they disagreed with the verdict, and that they intend to appeal. That is consistent with my views as well.
5. I will add this : while people feel strongly about the case, we nevertheless should avoid casting aspersions personally on judges – they are doing their duty, to the best of their abilities.
We should now let the Appeal Court look at the matter.
The Courts will decide according to the law, on the facts before them.
If, after the Appeal is decided, we, as a society, still generally believe that the law should deliver a different outcome, then it is not the Courts’ fault.
It is then for Parliament to deal with that, change the law. And people know – in Singapore, the Government will move, and put legislation before Parliament to consider.
Top photo from K Shanmugam's Facebook and via the Institute of Policy Studies
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