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Pastor's two-week jail term reduced to $4,000 fine

CJ says fuel tank rule he flouted is minor 'economic offence'; fines him $4,000

Published on Oct 31, 2012 6:00 AM

A church pastor who lied that his car's fuel gauge had not been tampered with when it showed he had a three-quarter tank of fuel, had his two-week jail term reduced to a $4,000 fine on Tuesday.

Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong said that the underlying offence - of flouting the three-quarter tank rule - was a relatively minor "economic offence" punishable with a maximum $500 fine.

While two weeks' jail had been the "standard" punishment in such cases, the Chief Justice said he found that the first case that imposed a jail sentence did not give any reason why imprisonment was appropriate. The jail sentence was followed by other judges subsequently.

In January, Steven Yang Suan Piau, 47, had tried to drive to Malaysia without the minimum amount of petrol in the tank of his car, as required by law. The fuel gauge in his car had been rigged to show the tank as three-quarters full.

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