SOURCE: Channelnewsasia: SINGAPORE: A Falun Gong supporter was sentenced to two months’ jail and six strokes of the cane on Wednesday (Jan 20) after pleading guilty to vandalising a pillar under the MRT track – which belongs to SMRT – and a metal control box belonging to the Land Transport Authority.
Chinese national Gao Bin, 21, was sentenced for two counts of vandalism, with four similar charges taken into consideration.
The court heard that at around 10pm on Aug 21 last year, Gao, who was unrepresented, used a black permanent marker to inscribe Chinese characters associated to Falun Gong, a spiritual group banned in China, on an SMRT pillar below the track running parallel to Geylang East Ave 1.
His writing was translated in English as “Fa Lun Da Fa is good. Chinese communist party is going to fall, faster leave the party, to save yourselves”. Gao, then enrolled at private institution Academies Australasia College, claimed that he wanted to create awareness to his countrymen through his writings.
One week later on Aug 28, Gao committed the same act on a metal control box at Geylang Lorong 22.
Gao’s six vandalism acts – including four charges that were not proceeded – caused damage amounting to S$730.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Sarah Shi said the fact that Gao committed these acts over a span of 11 days showed that they were pre-mediated.
District Judge Toh Yong Cheong said vandalism is a serious offence that warranted a custodial sentence. In sentencing, he cited the case of American teenager Michael Fay, who was sentenced to four months’ jail and six strokes of the cane in March 1994 for vandalising 18 cars over a 10-day period in September 1993. However, he did not order compensation, noting Gao’s young age at the time his offence was committed and that he does not have the means to pay.
Gao could have been jailed up to three years or fined S$2,000, in addition to being caned.