Jailed for living in an illegal tent!

I was disconcerted to read about a jobless and homeless man who was jailed for living in a tent for one month at East Coast Park. His mother is paralysed which is an indication of a serious problem in his family.

He claimed he depended on friends for food.

What did the authorities hope to achieve by charging him? I think it’s a waste of public funds and resources.

There are many impoverished Singaporeans like him with some being forced to break the law to keep body and soul together. Are the authorities going to throw the book at them as well?

This is certainly not the culture of tolerance preached by our political leaders.

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2 Responses to “Jailed for living in an illegal tent!”

  1. > What did the authorities hope to achieve by charging him? I think it’s a waste of public funds and resources.

    Then the law needs to be re-examined, i.e. whether we should charge people for living in illegal tent. And not let the poor man off but jail/fine a rich man. I’m sure nobody will sympathize with the rich man ‘cos he-sibei-boliao-want-to-play-punk-so-serve-him-right. But sympathy cannot be basis for the law ‘cos anybody can churn out a sod story.

    > There are many impoverished Singaporeans like him with some being forced to break the law to keep body and soul together.

    If a poor man steals, should he be jailed?

  2. Nobody can dispute the notion that sympathy should not be the basis on whether a person should be prosecuted. Our courts have proved it time and time again. Poverty is also no excuse for theft. I will be the last to condone this.

    You must have seen people selling things illegally without a license, busking illegally, living illegally in HDB void decks etc in order to eke out a meagre living or because they have fallen on hard times. Are we going to charge them?

    Civil servants sometimes tend to be overzealous to prove a point to their bosses but commons sense needs to prevail.

    And of course hopfully I can be credited with some common sense as weill.


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