Amy Cheong 'could face charges' for online rant
Lawyers say posts have elements of offence involving incitement to hatred
The woman who posted an expletive-laden rant about Malay weddings on her Facebook page could well face charges of inciting hatred among people of different races, said lawyers. They said it is clear that Ms Amy Cheong's posts contain elements of an offence under the law.
However, most of them added that it is early days yet, as police investigations into the matter are just under way. There are also other considerations before an offence is established, such as whether a person had deliberately set out to cause enmity or ill will.
Lawyers said there are three possible outcomes to the case: No further action is taken against her; she is given a warning; or she is hauled to court. If it is the third outcome, Ms Cheong could be punished with a fine, a jail sentence of up to three years, or both, if found guilty.
The 37-year-old saw her online rant on Sunday go viral almost immediately. Among other things, she disparaged what she felt to be the low cost and overly lengthy nature of void-deck weddings. She also mocked the Malay community's divorce rate.
Punishments meted out in other cases
PRIVATE student Gan Huai Shi, 17, was convicted under the Sedition Act for posting racist remarks about Malays in his blog. In one entry, he allegedly made it clear that he was "extremely racist".
He was put on probation for two years and ordered to do 180 hours of community service with Malay organisations.
In another case, two bloggers - Nicholas Lim, 25, and Benjamin Koh, 27 - became the first people to be jailed under the Sedition Act since 1966. Koh was jailed for one month, and Lim was given a "nominal" jail term of one day and fined the maximum of $5,000.
Responding to a Straits Times Forum page letter on whether uncaged pets should be allowed inside taxis, Koh posted vulgar remarks aimed at the Malay/Muslim community and its religion. Lim posted similar, but less extreme, comments on an online dog lovers' forum.
A BLOGGER was let off with a stern warning by the police after posting an offensive cartoon of Jesus Christ online. The 21-year-old accounts assistant, who went by the moniker "Char", had reproduced pictures available elsewhere.
CHRISTIAN couple Ong Kian Cheong, 50, and Dorothy Chan, 46, received eight-week jail terms under the Sedition Act. Both were found guilty of mailing seditious or objectionable evangelical Christian comic booklets, titled The Little Bride and Who Is Allah?, to three Muslim civil servants between March and December 2007.
REPAIRMAN Andrew Kiong, 44, was jailed for two weeks for placing envelope-size cards on the windshields of cars he believed belonged to Muslim residents in condominiums. The cards contained questions about Prophet Muhammad that were calculated to insult Muslims.
He was the first to be charged with injuring the religious feelings of another person under a Penal Code section, amended in 2007, for cases involving actions intended to wound a person's racial or religious feelings.