December 22, 2009
I was hardly surprised when the judge Ch’ng Lye Beng pronounced me and my Party colleagues guilty last week (read report here).
However, I must say that the maximum sentence that was generously doled out was unexpected. You see, this is the first time I have been “convicted” of any offence. In other words, I do not have a record, in legal parlance, no antecedence. Yet, the judge decided that I would have to be sentenced to the heaviest fine possible.
I guess I didn’t quite sound as contrite as the judge would have liked me to when asked if I had a mitigation plea. I told him “I continue to say that what we did was not a crime. Criticising one’s government is a right guaranteed in a democratic society. By finding us guilty you are as good as saying that we do not have this right. By pronouncing us guilty you are also saying that Singapore is not a democratic society and that this government is an undemocratic one.”
Let’s see what happens when the appeal for this matter is heard in High Court next year.