Disappointed by decision on StanChart robbery suspect

I was disappointed to read the news report on the Standard Chartered Bank robbery suspect (StanChart bank robbery suspect won't be caned if convicted: MHA; Feb 21).

I acknowledge the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) was facing a Hobson's choice - either extradite the suspect back to Singapore with no caning or risk not being able to get their hands on him.

Still, MHA should perhaps have challenged the conditions set by the British.

David James Roach committed a crime on Singapore soil, and should face the same punishment as any other person who commits a similar crime here - which in this case is a crime which calls for a jail term with caning.

What kind of message are we sending if we have double standards for foreigners vis-a-vis Singaporeans?

I am afraid this might give a wrong impression to foreigners, thinking it is all right to commit crimes in Singapore since they will not be subjected to the same punishment.

In addition, this has implications on how the international community perceives our sovereignty.

Singapore should be seen as an independent state which stands firm on its laws, and not be viewed as a small state that buckles under pressure from its former colonial rulers.

Just like how we stood firm for the 1994 case of American teenager Michael Fay, we should not allow other countries to undermine or influence the laws governing our country.

It was our firm stance on the rule of law, not compromise, that brought us here today as a relatively crime-free country.

Sean Lim Wei Xin

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 22, 2018, with the headline 'Disappointed by decision on StanChart robbery suspect'. Print Edition | Subscribe