12 July 2008

Does the Attorney-General know what's in the law books?

Attorney-General Walter Woon says men who sexually abuse underaged males will be prosecuted under Section 377A. What's wrong with that? Full essay.


Anonymous said...

I previously thought that he was one of the fastest rising stars who would have brought about change to the old PAP regime. Looks like he is no better than the rest of them. And not really that smart as what I would have thought, especially when he expresses his own opinions. He now gives me the impression that he does not have a mind of his own.

I suppose he must be spoilt for choice for the good things that life has brought him during the last few years of PAP sponsorship.

Ned Stark said...

Mr Au,

I think the offences dealing with older sexual predators were recently added in the penal code amendments in 2007. But i need to check it out further to confirm.

Yawning Bread Sampler said...

Ned Stark -

Yes, the wording of 376A came from the amendments of last October, though it does not excuse the A-G from being unfamiliar with it.

Section 7 of the Children and Young Persons Act is of longstanding, that being a law that is separate from the Penal Code.

yuen said...

I dont think he used the example because of lack of familiarity; it was just a PR tactic providing an answer that the reporter can take back and most readers would not question.

As for some people's earlier hopes that Walter Woon would be "different": the room for being "different" is very limited within Singapore Inc - quite aside from the incentive for being with the "system" and the penalty for being against the "system", if you are someone who would like to get things done, you just have to work with the "system"

if you take CSJ, JBS, Catherine Lim and Ngiam Tong Dow as prominent examples of people who work outside the "system", you can see the range of possibilities: you can attract some notice, positive, negative or neutral, but you dont get to turn your ideas into positive action

in comparison, you can take Walter Woon, Pang Eng Fong, Claire Chiang, Chan Heng Chee, etc, as examples of people who chose to join the "system" so that they can at least get some things done

curiocurio said...

Ngiam Tong Dow was formerly a Permanent Secretary. You can't say he didn't join the system.

That said, after retirement, he started speaking out a lot against the Govt.

Readymade said...

Although that raises the question of why he didn't speak up while in office in the first place. Or what he did there to improve matters.

yuen said...

your question has logic, but it fails to consider the local situation

it is his previous service to the "system" that earned him the right to speak, without causing anyone to doubt his motives; whereas Catherine Lim received an official letter from GCT telling her to enter politics if she wanted to "set the agenda" for political discourse, leading to her hasty apology for any distress she might have caused GCT, I dont think Ngiam would get into that kind of situation